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Bond Frequently Asked Questions 


Project Questions

What is a referendum?

A bond referendum is an opportunity for voters to decide whether the school district may borrow money for capital projects. The bond referendum, if approved, would address the district’s facility needs in three key areas – site improvement and repairs, infrastructure improvements and program-related infrastructure enhancements – to prepare the next generation of learners and provide them with expanded opportunities.

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Why a bond referendum now?

A bond referendum permits the district to borrow money up to the amount specified in the voter-approved capital project bond referendum. The cost of these repairs, renovations and upgrades could not be absorbed into the regular operating budget without significantly impacting instructional programming for students.

Additionally, the district has expiring debt from an earlier bond that will retire in 2018, when the debt for this bond will start, making the proposed bond project tax-neutral.

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Why is there a need for these projects?

The current administration section of the building is a portable structure, which was installed approximately 35 years ago with an estimated life of 10 years. That portion of the building is now well beyond its useful life and the structure is sinking.

One of the enhancements we are looking to make will greatly increase security for our students, staff and visitors in our building. If approved, a new security vestibule and booth will be added to the front entrance of the building, and security cameras will be installed. These new cameras will allow us to monitor the entire interior and exterior perimeter of the building, giving us the ability to watch our grounds at all hours.

Our bathrooms are over 50 years old and in desperate need of an upgrade to bring them into compliance with ADA regulations.

In an effort to be more cost-efficient and green, approval of the bond will allow for the installation of natural gas to our boilers, which will allow us to run on both fuel and gas.

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How was the proposed scope of work decided?

The district conducted a five-year building conditions study in 2016, which is required by Education Law. After a review of the study, district administrators worked with the district’s architect and analyzed the facilities in the areas of health, safety and security, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, needed instructional space upgrades and preventative maintenance.

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Will the projects be completed in one phase or will they be spread among several phases?

It is expected that the work will be completed in multiple phases.

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What’s included in this bond?

A list of the items included in the bond and their associated costs can be found on our website.

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If approved, when would construction start and what is the estimated time frame to complete the projects?

Following voter approval of the bond, the district’s architect would prepare plans for the listed projects for submittal to the State Education Department for their approval. Once that approval is received, the district can go out for bid on the projects. We anticipate work to begin in the summer of 2019.

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Would construction impact students or staff?

A majority of the work is expected to take place either over the summer months or during nights, weekends and regularly scheduled school closures. However, students who are occasionally housed in the portable section of the building for small group instruction will be relocated. There will be NO impact to the instructional program.

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What if the bond is defeated?

The conditions of our schools will continue to deteriorate, and repairs and renovations will still be needed. Any major work included in future annual budgets will significantly increase costs to taxpayers.

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Cost Questions

How was the cost of the bond determined?

The district’s architects developed the plans and projected costs based on their professional experience and knowledge of the market. These projections include contingencies for unforeseen factors and design modifications.

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Where is the funding coming from? Who is paying for this?

The total amount of the bond used to fund the project is approximately $8.4 million. We anticipate receiving state aid of approximately 10 percent of the total project. State aid can only be used toward the bond projects and will help reduce the amount of debt payments over time.

The proposed bond project is tax-neutral, meaning the district will not need to raise additional tax revenue to support it. This is due to expiring debt from an earlier bond, which will retire in 2018, when the debt for this bond will start.

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Don’t we budget for these improvements?

Capital improvements of this scale cannot be included in the operating budget without impacting the tax levy in a significant way. Using a bond spreads out the cost over a longer period of time and mitigates the annual tax impact. Since implementation of the New York State legislated tax cap, which limits the increase of operating budgets to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower, it has become very difficult, if not impossible, to raise revenue for large-scale projects.

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Can this money be used for any other purpose?

No, the district can only borrow the amount of funds detailed on the ballot and can only use those funds for the purposes specified. The Board cannot increase the amount being borrowed after voter approval.

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Voter Information

When will the vote take place?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the gym.

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Where can voter information be obtained?

Voter information and absentee ballots can be found on the district’s website here.

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Voter Registration Information:
Qualified residents may register to vote on any school day, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the District Clerk’s office. If you have not voted in a school election within the past four years, or you are not registered with the Suffolk County Board of Elections to vote in general elections, then you need to register with the school before the vote. You may register with the District Clerk during regular school hours up to March 15, 2018.

The final hours to register for this vote will be March 15, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the school. For more information, please call the District Clerk, Lenore Rezza, at 631-653-5210.

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