School Bond: Questions & Answers

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Springs School Bond Q & A


BOCES demographics report indicate a decline in births therefore enrollment. Explain why we are still building?


While the BOCES reports have shown a decline in student population, it is not significant enough to avoid having to expand the school building. Their projected enrollment is down 55 students by 2023. That come out to roughly 6.5 kids per grade or 1.75 kids per classroom. This would not reduce the school population enough to reduce each grade by a section. In order for that to happen, each grade would need to be reduced by 25 students, or 225 children altogether. BOCES numbers are nowhere near that.
Since 1995 the Springs School has experienced double the enrollment. The building was built to hold 350-400 students. We are now at over 700 students and 117% capacity.
BOCES demographics report indicates a decline in birth rates for Suffolk, yet Springs School shows an increase in enrollment up to 2021, and stable through 2024 at 785-790 students.
The Birth rates are for Suffolk County, East Hampton and Springs for the last 5 years. Springs is up and down almost every year. Birth rates are not the only measure BOCES uses for demographics. They look at Housing and Population trends. Between 89 and 103 students born a year in Springs, Kindergarten classes would exceed 20 students a class (4 sections) and keep us solidly in 4 sections as far out as 5 years.

 

Please provide an analysis on what the cost will be to run the expansion; utilities, maintenance, and staffing?


The projected added costs would be $88,xxx/year, analysis below:
The new project will result in additional regular maintenance costs, however those costs are expected to be less than ½ od 1 percent which will be absorbed within the regular budget and staying within the 2% Tax Cap. The additional costs will include:
1 additional Custodian (Wages plus Benefits) …………. $70,000 ( 0.25% of Total Budget)
Heat Power and Light:
Current Costs:
Heat (Fuel Oil) $ 61,200
Electricity 83,640
Water   3,500
TOTAL $148,340
Less costs of usage in portables Less rent at MHT

Estimated additional cost ($148,340 x 24% - P&S costs ) =$35,602 (0.13% of Total Budget)
Other Maintenance Costs: Current Costs:
Landscaping $27,000
Irrigation System Maintenance 4,300
Custodial Supplies 25,788
General Boiler, HVAC Maintenance   48,900
TOTAL OTHER $105,988

Estimated Other additional costs ($105,988 x 30%) = $31,796 (0.11% of Total Budget)
GRAND TOTAL OF O & M Added Costs $137,398 (0.49% of Total Budget) Subtract from this the associated costs saved in Transportation by keeping Sports Teams in Springs. This would eliminate Bus Costs for the after school Sports Teams from Springs to Sports Time and John Marshall Middle School in order to have practices every day.
Cost of the driver and the operating cost for the bus = $324/ day
Total for Sports Team Practice Buses would be $48,629 (0.17% of Total Budget.)
This would reduce the Grand Total of O&M Costs as follows:
O&M Total Additional Costs $137,398 Less: Bus Savings 48,629
Net added Costs $ 88,768 or 0.31% of Total Budget



What happens if the Bond does not pass?


First our class size would increase if we could not open another section. Continued cost to rent the SYA building and Most Holy Trinity, increased cost to rent more space to house kindergarten students, and admin cost to place a school administrator there. Tuition payments possible to a school district like Montauk that could accommodate some of our students.
Montauk tuition K-6 $30,061 per student. Eliminating full day kindergarten, science and library. Continued safety concerns..


What happens if the work comes in under Budget?


The district can borrow just what it needs or pay down a portion of the debt .


What is the timeline for completion?


The architects would need time to prepare detailed plans. The State Education Department could take 40 weeks to approve the plans. Starting construction July 2019, completion September 2021


In the case of declining enrollment over the next 10 years, what is the plan?


Should the district see a decline in enrollment the first thing the administration would do is bring the 2 preschool classes into the building. Then we would ensure no class is “on a cart”, Family and Consumer Science would have a designated classroom, following Health and Spanish.


What were the initial estimates for the project? How did the District arrive at the final design?


The Board of Education worked with administration, community, staff and students. The BOE tried to balance with “what was needed’” with what they felt the community could support.
Priority was on compliance with American Disabilities Act (ADA) and State Education Mandates and Compliance, i.e. Physical Education, small instructional space for special education, ENL, AIS. There were over 30 designs, as high as $35 million and many tough decisions to get to a balance on a bond the BOE believes is “what is needed.”



What would happen to the greenhouse and the playground?


They would be relocate both the greenhouse and playground.


Why can’t we borrow now at the lower interest rate?


We can’t borrow money until the bond referendum has passed and then receive SED approval for our plans. Arbitrage effects districts in that they have to spend 5% within 6 months of borrowing and 85% within 18 months or face penalties with the IRS. In addition, if we use tax exempt Bond proceeds to invest and earn investment income, the Tax Exempt Status of the Bonds could be jeopardized. Therefore, it would not be fiscally responsible to borrow the money before we have the expenses set and approved.


Please provide a line by line budget?


Under State guidelines, the Architects and Engineers use estimated costs per square foot which is determined by the New York State Comptroller’s Office. These cost factors take into consideration prevailing wage rates, material costs, travel costs an economic factors for the region to provide the project Construction costs for “New” Construction, Renovations, Site Development and assigns various percentages for Contingencies.


As such the breakdown of costs is as follows:

SPATIAL NEEDS:

 

 

New Construction: includes New Gym, classrooms, Science Classroom, Technology Room

23,801

$7,854,330

Interior Reconstruction: includes connections from old building to new building, Art Room, Nurses Office, Faculty Toilets, 4 Classroom updates, upgrade existing stage, convert existing locker rooms into small classrooms, Convert existing Tech Room into Regular Classroom, Consolidate Central Office Admin into one area

16,533

$1,441,975

Casework/Technology/Equipment: New Classroom Technology, Art Casework, Music Casework, Science Room and Science Prep Room, Handicapped Chair lift for access to Faculty Room.

 

$324,000

Relocation of Buildings and Grounds Garage

 

$69,192

New Sanitary System - Nitrogen Reducing

 

$830,300

New Paving: Roadways, parking spaces and sidewalks

119,439

$1,824,991

General Site work for re-design of roads and parking

 

$484,342

Athletic Fields and Playgrounds, includes Site Clearing and Irrigation System Installation

2.37 acres

$993,686

Bus Lot Improvements: Expansion of parking, Construction of Building for Transportation Personnel

24,800 sq ft

$494,859

Environmental Contingencies

 

$343,184

Engineering System Upgrades for Spacial Scope

 

$622,725

Construction & Design Contingencies

 

$1,566,567

Escalation Contingency

 

$674,006

Architect and Engineering Fees

 

$840,208

Owner Soft Costs: Includes the Construction Manager, and other allowances to ready the site for Construction including Security

 

$1,401,933

SPATIAL NEEDS SUB-TOTAL

 

$19,766,298

 

 

 

FACILITY NEEDS:

 

 

Code Compliance, ADA and Safety

 

$176,000


 

SITE - Parking, drainage, sidewalks, steps

 

$245,000

Window

 

$558,000

Roofing & Fascias

 

$690,000

Doors

 

$36,500

Ceilings

 

$105,000

Lockers

 

$6,500

Electrical upgrades

 

$655,000

HVAC

 

$430,000

Audio & Clock systems

 

$295,000

FACILITIES NEEDS SUB-TOTAL

 

$3,197,000

 



How will the current students be properly educated during the construction process?


The district will hire a Project Manager who will work with the school administration to ensure the safety of our students and staff as well as limit any disruptions to education.


What have we paid the architects for this project so far?

Zero. In the selection of process from the 8 Architectural Firms that responded to our Request for Proposal for this expansion Project, BBS Architects was one of the firms that committed not receive any fees for the Project unless the Bond is passed. Then it would receive 5% of the project in the same manner we would pay any of the Contractors we will hire. Their payments will be based on the percentage of completion method.




Why must there be several small rooms for lessons? Why can’t portable divider be used as necessary?


Classrooms are already divided for small group instruction. We want to ensure those room meet NYS requirements for fresh air, this is one of the renovations we will make to existing instructional space. Some rooms are too small and will be redesigned to again meet the state guidelines for small instructional space for students,


How does the district plan for funding possible overruns?


The total dollar amount of this project cannot exceed $22,963,298. If bids come in over we will work with architects to bring the project in under the amount approved by the voters.


Is the septic system still proposed as a nitrogen-reducing system with the highest achievable levels?


Yes, The plan is put out a bid for a nitrogen-reducing system that meets state, town and Suffolk County requirements.


Why hasn’t the roof and some infrastructure been done before this if the district has 5 million dollars for capital improvement?


The taxpayers approved a capital project reserve, much like a savings account to start saving for much needed capital expenses such as a roof ensuring the district had enough money in reserves to fund the needed work. The roof work has not been done yet as we knew we were so close to completing a full expansion proposal and preferred to do everything at one time.


What is being done to ensure all students who attend Springs School or are tuitioned to East Hampton are residents of Springs?


The district has implemented a process that all mailing that go out to parent/guardian/students are marked “Do Not Forward.” This ensures if someone has moved the mail will not be forwarded. When mail is returned staff will then follow up to see if parents do not respond staff will be sent to the home to determine residency. All high school students will be required to register each year. A system will be set up to ensure all individuals who are renting have current leases on file.


What if any space is not student space?


Minor renovations including fresh air to administration office is anticipated. At this time the district will not be renovating the portables for administration


There continues to be a disparate distribution of tax burden for the education of high school students in the Town of East Hampton.


Agreed. The Springs BOE addressed this in 2010. The district will once again review this data and speak with NYS office of state aid planning.


Will lighting be addressed and how soon?


Electricians under BOCES contract have been contacted and areas of concern addressed as soon as possible.


How has enrollment declined?


Enrollment from 1995 has not declined.


Why isn’t Springs suing the town the same as Hampton Bays?


Hampton Bays is suing the town of Southampton for permitting hotels and motels to be used for long term rentals causing an influx of students. This is not the situation in Springs. The Springs School is not responsible for enforcing the rental registry. We check with East Hampton to ensure the landlord who signs the affidavit owns the home.


School Consolidation


Springs School looked at Consolidation in August 1998 when a Feasibility Study of a Central High School District was commissioned and completed by Dowling College CFCD Consulting. Page 39 Findings and Conclusions, “The overall conclusion that we have reached based on our study is that it would not be fiscally feasible for Amagansett, East Hampton, Montauk and Springs School Districts to form either a “central high school district or to Consolidate. However, the four districts should give serious consideration to investigating potential shared services.
Springs was the only district of the four that would experience property tax savings. The other three districts would actually have increased tax levies under the proposal.



The Springs Community is an aging community, why do we need to construct additional space?


A quick look at a comparison of the 2000 vs 2010 U.S. Census data from the census.gov web site reveals the following, note that while the actual number of people over age 65 increased 146 residents, the Total of people over 65 as a percentage of the Total Population has dropped from 13.48% in the 2000 Census to 12.33% in the 2010 Census. The Total Population during the same period has increased by 1,642 people (a 33.17% increase) and a further look reveals that the Adult Population between ages 20 and 49 (child bearing years) has increased from 2,162 people in 2000 to 2,891 people in 2010 which is a 33.72% increase:

2000 Census

2010 Census

Inc (Dec)

TOTAL POPULATION

4950

100.00%

6592

100.00%

1642

 

GENDER:

 

 

 

 

 


 

Male

2501

50.53%

3431

52.05%

930

 

Female

 

2449

 

49.47%

 

3161

 

47.95%

 

712

 

AGE BREAKDOWN:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Age Under 19

 

1201

 

24.26%

 

1582

 

24.00%

 

381

 

Age 20-24

 

216

 

4.36%

 

385

 

5.84%

 

169

 

Age 25-34

 

607

 

12.26%

 

965

 

14.64%

 

358

 

Age 35-49

 

1339

 

27.05%

 

1541

 

23.38%

 

202

 

Age 50-64

 

920

 

18.59%

 

1306

 

19.81%

 

386

 

Age 65 and over

 

667

 

13.48%

 

813

 

12.33%

 

146

 

 

4950

 

100.00%

 

6592

 

100.00%

 

1642

 

RACE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

White

 

4446

 

89.82%

 

5490

 

83.28%

 

1044

 

Black or African American

 

73

 

1.48%

 

109

 

1.65%

 

36

American Indian/Alaskan

10

0.20%

47

0.71%

37

Asian

72

1.46%

101

1.53%

29

 

Native Hawaiian

 

1

 

0.02%

 

1

 

0.02%

 

0


 

Other

191

3.86%

747

11.33%

556

 

Two or more

 

157

 

3.17%

 

97

 

1.47%

 

-60

 

TOTALS

 

4950

 

100.00%

 

6592

 

100.00%

 

1642

 

HISPANIC/LATINO:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hispanic or Latino

 

804

 

16.24%

 

2410

 

36.56%

 

1606

 

Not Hispanic or Latino

 

4146

 

83.76%

 

4182

 

63.44%

 

36

 

TOTALS

 

4950

 

100.00%

 

6592

 

100.00%

 

1642

 

HOUSING:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owner Occupied

 

1540

 

39.71%

 

1780

 

41.01%

 

240

 

Renter Occupied

 

384

 

9.90%

 

538

 

12.40%

 

154

 

Vacant

 

1954

 

50.39%

 

2022

 

46.59%

 

68

 

 

3878

 

100.00%

 

4340

 

100.00%

 

462

 




Voters clarification 


A “qualified voter” is a person who is a citizen of the United States, is at least 18 years old, is a resident of the school district for at least 30 days prior to the election at which he/she wishes to vote and who is not otherwise prohibited from voting under the New York State election law.

Voters who have registered to vote with the County Board of Elections are eligible to vote at school district meetings without any further registration required. There is no requirement that the voter be registered to vote with the town.


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