Project 2021 Skaneateles

A conceptual image for Skaneateles Middle School's gym under the capital project proposal Project 2021.

Provided

SKANEATELES — The Skaneateles Central School District's capital project easily passed Tuesday night.

A total of 638 community members voted in favor of Project 2021 — set at a cost not to exceed $36.5 million — while 147 voted against.

Superintendent Ken Slentz said the district is "incredibly grateful" to the community for coming out to vote. Work on submitting the project to the state education department by January 2018 for approval will begin Wednesday morning.

Voting was held at the Skaneateles Central School District office from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The project involves reconstruction and upgrades for the district's buildings.

The community's share of the project is set to be around $12 million, to be paid off over 18 years. The payment schedule had previously been 20 years, but was altered due to a change in scope for Waterman Primary School. It is anticipated the project will be eligible for around $22 million in state aid. The district also has $2,250,000 in capital reserves to go toward the project and a $110,784 gift set aside for the press box. The district's calculations have been based on an estimate of 95 percent of the project being eligible for state aid.

Skaneateles resident Michelle LaComb, speaking before casting her vote Tuesday afternoon, said she intended to vote in favor. She said she has a son in the district, and that she believes the improvements should be made.

LaComb said she was unfazed by the $12 million share to be put on the district.

"I'm really not concerned about it, because I think in the long run whatever improvements we make to the district are going to help the community and our children throughout the years to come," LaComb said.

Mark Simmons, who said he moved to Skaneateles specifically for the school district in 1989, said before he voted that he leaned in favor of the project. He said he knows district administrators and teachers and trusts their judgement. Simmons added he raised three children in the district and has grandchildren in the area now.

The project's scope includes remedying a campus-wide drainage system, replacing Waterman Primary School's 1972 boiler, reconstructing the middle school's gym, replacing the high school's windows from 1986, fixing the primary school's leaking foundation, establishing energy efficiency in the classrooms and replacing sections of each school building's roof at the end of or past their warranties, among other items.

The Project 2021 name refers to the year a piece of the district's mortgage on the undertaking will be paid off.

Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or kelly.rocheleau@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

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