Vote on CECSD’s Capital Investment Project Proposal is Wednesday

Cortland Jr./Sr. High School. (Photo Source: Kevin L. Smith/Cortland Voice).

The Cortland Enlarged City School District’s (CECSD) $32.5 million capital improvement project proposal is up for a vote this Wednesday.

The school district is providing two polling locations for community residents. City of Cortland and town of Cortlandville residents can vote at the Kaufman Center (located at the junior-senior high school) on Valley View Drive. Other residents of the school district can vote at Virgil Town Hall (1176 Church St, Cortland, NY 13045).

The proposed project aims to “assist in improvements” for each of CECSD’s school buildings, said superintendent Bob Edwards. The school’s buildings are Cortland Junior-Senior High School, Randle Middle School, Barry Primary School and Smith Intermediate School.

Funds to pay for the proposed project will come from the school district’s capital reserve and retiring debts, and state building aid “for school districts looking to do capital improvement projects,” Edwards said. Capital reserve and retiring debts will cover 10% of the funds for the project ($3.5 million), while the state building aid covers 90% ($29 million).

Edwards noted there will be “no additional tax impact on our community.” Funds from the retiring debt comes from “debt that comes off (of the school district) by the start of the project,” which is tentatively slated to begin next year.

Potential improvements and upgrades for Cortland Junior-Senior High School include:

  • Turf field improvements
  • Upgrades for each junior-senior athletic program
  • Reconstruction of 10 tennis courts
  • Modernization of classrooms
  • Upgrades to classroom safety, select doors and lockers
  • Select door upgrades
  • Renovations to library maker space

For Randall Middle School:

  • Improvements to bus drop-off, sidewalks and ventilation
  • Replacement of asphalt play area
  • Upgrades to the basketball court and electrical service
  • Renovation of cafeteria/kitchen and school bathrooms
  • Restoration of the exterior of the building

For Barry Primary School:

  • Improved traffic and parking patterns
  • Improvement of lighting for new parking lot
  • Renovation of nurse’s office
  • Upgrades to the building’s heat ventilation/air conditioning system (HVAC)
  • Modernization of classrooms

For Smith Intermediate School:

  • Additional parking and parking lot renovation
  • Replacement of basketball court
  • New hot water boilers
  • Addition of music storage/individual lesson space

“We’re pretty excited about the possibilities for this project,” Edwards said. “These improvements will be really solid for our buildings and the community.”

Edwards noted that the school district, while working with King and King Architects of Syracuse, studied each building “in areas that needed improvement.”

“We prioritized lists and narrowed it down based on projects that are fiscally manageable,” he said, adding the capital improvement project’s goal is to “contain and maintain facilities.”

If the proposed project is approved by the community on Wednesday and through the Board of Education at its Oct. 19 meeting, the proposal would then be sent out to the New York State Department of Education for further approval.

Edwards said if the project gets underway in 2022, it could wrap up by the 2025-26 school year.