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Residents to Vote on $83M in Capital Projects in Brewster Schools
Voters in the Brewster School District will be heading to the polls later this month to decide on more than $83 million in capital projects that are planned.
School officials have maintained two separate propositions voters will be presented with on Tues., March 21 will address needed infrastructure repairs and educational enhancements throughout the district and have been designed to secure maximum state aid.
Much of the proposed work stems from a state-mandated facilities review that was conducted in 2021.
“The district’s facilities play a critical role in our community,” the Board of Education stated in the district’s winter newsletter. “Our facilities and fields provide our students with a safe place to learn from our talented and dedicated faculty and staff, and they also provide residents a place to enjoy youth sports, dance recitals and other community and recreational activities. Propositions 1 and 2 represent a unique opportunity to maintain and improve our important facilities.”
Proposition 1, set at just under $60 million, would cover high-priority infrastructure improvements across all four school buildings and campuses in the district, including roofs, boilers, paving repairs, replacing of the existing synthetic turf field at the high school, and replacement of the existing track and installation of a new synthetic turf field within it.
The project also features a security vestibule expansion and increased parking at Brewster High. At C.V. Starr Intermediate School, a new cafetorium, as well as the renovation of the existing cafeteria into new classroom spaces, are also planned.
School officials have stressed Proposition 1 would be “entirely tax neutral,” meaning it would not lead to an increase in school taxes, since it is anticipated the district would be reimbursed by New York State for approximately $31.3 million and the projects would be further offset by expiring debt and funds “on-hand” earmarked for capital improvements. The remaining portion would be funded through the issuance of a tax-exempt serial bond to be repaid over 15 to 20 years.
Proposition 2, finalized at $23.1 million, has an estimated tax impact of approximately $20 annually, or $1.65 per month, per $100,000 of taxable assessed value. Proposition 2 can only be approved if Proposition 1 passes.
Included in Proposition 2 is the construction of an indoor field house and collegiate-style fitness center at Brewster High for use by interscholastic and youth sports programs, as well as the performing arts program, and other school and community groups in need of a spacious indoor facility.
The proposition would also cover indoor renovations that would create space for a state-of-the-art STEAM lab, allowing for experiential career and technical opportunities for students interesting in learning a trade.
The last day for registration for residents to vote is March 15. Voting on March 21 will take place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Brewster High.
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/