Future Facilities Project Press Release
The Croton-Harmon Schools Proposes Tax-Neutral Capital Project to Enhance Learning Spaces and District Facilities
Improvements to All Schools and Spencer Field
Croton-on-Hudson, October 4, 2022 - The Croton-Harmon Union Free School District has proposed a $45.5 million, tax-neutral Capital Project to address current infrastructure-related items, preserve the integrity of school buildings and property, and create student learning spaces that allow for collaboration, creativity, and future-driven teaching and learning. The proposed Capital Project, which was intentionally crafted to not increase the tax levy for the community’s residents, was shared by members of the District's Future Facilities Planning Team (FFPT) at the Board of Education meeting on September 15, 2022. The Board is scheduled to vote on a resolution to present a public referendum for the project at its October 20th meeting. If approved by the Board of Education, a public vote on the referendum will be held on December 13, 2022.
The Future Facilities Planning Team, composed of faculty and staff members, students, community members, building and district administrators, and representatives from the Board of Education, began its work this Spring that resulted in recommendations that focus on four areas: teaching and learning; the arts; infrastructure; and athletics. As part of the process which led to the proposed capital project, the FFPT toured each of the school buildings and Spencer Field to see first-hand the areas that were recommended for upgrades and improvements as identified through a state-mandated Building Condition Survey. They also worked to envision learning spaces that align with the District’s next iteration of its strategic plan, centered around developing into a future-driven school system.
“In addition to addressing infrastructure-related items in each of our schools, the scope of the Capital Project will improve or create spaces in which new technologies can be used, collaborative learning can take place, and students can feel supported and inspired,” said Superintendent Walker. “We also value that students learn in different ways and explore a variety of passions, which requires a thoughtful approach to this plan. The spaces include those which support learning in innovative and collaborative ways, an upgraded music suite and renovated High School Auditorium, outdoor learning spaces, and installation of artificial turf at Spencer Field, among many others. We view this project to be for the Tigers of today, and tomorrow.”
“The Capital Project addresses our district’s continued focus on safety and security in our schools through the creation of a visitor vestibule at Croton-Harmon High School and installation of new security cameras at each of our schools”, shared Assistant Superintendent for Business Denise Harrington-Cohen. “The Project also furthers our commitment to health, wellness, and environmental sustainability in several ways, including the introduction of new, high-efficiency systems, ventilation improvements, roof replacements to allow for further installation of solar panels, and the enhancement of our infrastructure to support additional electric school buses in the future.”
Financially, the district is in position to proceed with the project while maintaining tax-neutrality for residents, meaning that the project’s cost will not increase the tax levy going forward. In order to achieve tax-neutrality, the District will be leveraging NY State Education Department Building Aid, timing the bond financing to align with declining debt, and using funds from the District’s existing Capital Reserve.
The Capital Project includes $17.5 million in infrastructure work, most of which is related to the age of the buildings, including roofing, masonry, and heating and ventilation. The remaining $28 million would be dedicated to projects that include:
Croton Harmon High School: renovate the auditorium, cafeteria, and current music suite; create an innovative learning center and STEAM Center; and provide air conditioning to the cafeteria, music suite and new learning center.
Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School: renovate current spaces to create a new science classroom; new student services suite, improve the outdoor learning space, new playing field and playground, fourth-floor conference suite, and provide air conditioning for the student services suite.
Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School: create outdoor amphitheater/classroom space, convert the current library to a research and maker space, renovate the current gymnasium and provide air conditioning for the kindergarten wing and cafeteria.
Spencer Field Complex: installation of an artificial turf field, new track, stadium lighting, bleachers and press box, concession stand and restrooms, scoreboard, and improved site access and parking.
Additional information about the Capital Project and related topics, including a link to the FFPT’s September 15th presentation and related video communications, can be found on the district website at www.chufsd.org/future_facilities.