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Greenburgh Central School Board sets new date for Capital Project Vote

Greenburgh Central School Board Sets New Date for Capital Project Vote; Referendum postponed to March 19 to provide community more time for consideration.

Greenburgh Central School District’s Board of Education has unanimously approved a resolution to reschedule a public vote on the proposed 2019 Capital Project that would consolidate all schools onto the Warburg campus. The referendum originally scheduled for February 12 has been postponed until March 19.

Area residents voiced the need for more time to evaluate details of the community-driven capital project. The current proposal is a scaled-down version of a previously discussed plan. It retains the vision of a unified campus, but takes a more financially conservative approach with a lower tax impact on residents.

“We, as a board, want to make sure that each and every resident in the Greenburgh Central School District has a full understanding of the details of this proposal,” said David Warner, Board of Education President. “That’s why we are delaying the vote, to enable more discussion and allow time for residents to critically evaluate the virtues of the plan.”

The total cost of the Capital Project is $114.6 million. This represents a decrease of $51.4 million from the previous proposal that had been under consideration by the Board of Education. If approved, the adjusted 2019 Capital Project would result in a tax impact of $14 per month, per $100,000 of assessed property value, averaged over 30 years.

The plan to bring all of Greenburgh Central School District onto a unified campus would take the district from five buildings to three. Lee F. Jackson Elementary School would be expanded and renovated to serve pre-K through grade 2. Students in grades 3 through 8 would be educated in a newly constructed school building, which will have separate wings for grades 3-5 and 6-8. Highview Elementary School and Richard J. Bailey Elementary School, both which are not meeting current educational standards, would close and be sold. The revised plan omits improvements slated for Woodlands High School. The district now plans to prioritize the essential facility needs of the high school through annual budgets and anticipates doing so within the state imposed tax cap.

New classrooms will be designed with students in mind; to enhance their educational experience by creating an environment that drives critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration. The unified campus model also provides benefits that can lead to improved academic performance, including fewer transitions, extended inter-grade learning, closer and sustained student/teacher relationships and greater peer tutoring and mentoring opportunities. Higher attendance rates and improved student behavior have also been attributed to this unified campus model.

“This is a well-conceived plan that will provide safe and secure, state-of-the art learning spaces for every Greenburgh student; all on a campus that was donated decades ago expressly for the education of our community’s children,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tahira A. DuPree Chase. “Single campus learning environments improve quality of life for families and academic outcomes for students.”

The Capital Project proposal includes enhanced safety measures to be implemented district-wide, including the addition of secure vestibules, as well as renewable energy features for improved efficiency and sustainability. Outdoor learning and play spaces as well as new facilities for the arts and an upgraded field and track remain in the plan. Further, new community rooms and large flexible-use gathering spaces would be available for use by the public.

“Reaching this exciting moment has taken some careful consideration of our needs as a district, along with some thoughtful compromises,” said Dr. Chase. “In this district, our focus is always on our children, and I believe this plan lays out a vision for the brightest possible future we can provide them as a supportive community of educators, neighbors and families. And, when we empower our youth by providing strong schools, we also invest mightily in our community.”

The Board of Education has established the following schedule of public meetings to communicate the details of the Capital Project at locations convenient to its many stakeholders.
• Thursday, January 24 - 7 p.m., Richard J. Bailey Elementary School
• Saturday, January 26 – 10 a.m., presentation at Richard J. Bailey Elementary School, followed by a tour of districtwide facilities
• Tuesday, January 29 - 7 p.m., The Greenburgh Public Library
• Thursday, January 31 - 7 p.m., Highview Elementary School
• Thursday, February 7 - 7 p.m., The Theodore Young Community Center

To review detailed information about the items included in the 2019 Capital Project, including answers to many frequently asked questions, please visit www.greenburghcsd.org.