Capital Improvement Project 2024

Dear Community Members:

We hope that you’ll take a few minutes to look at this webpage and all the information we have provided to you about our upcoming capital project.  Included in this information is an up-to-date Q&A document about the project, along with photos, the scope of work, and an explanation of how we can accomplish this with no local cost to our residents.

The three biggest questions about any capital project are always, “What’s in this project? Why now? and How much will it cost?”  These answers are included in all the information we have posted on this page.

 The total cost is $10,445,000.00 and there is no tax increase associated with this project.

The vote will be in the Jr./Sr. High School Gym Lobby on February 13, 2024 from 11:00-9:00 p.m.

Please take a look at our capital project newsletter for a breakdown of the proposal.

Q & A

Q: What is a Capital Project?

A: A way for us to improve, protect our investment and upgrade our facilities on campus.

Q: Why is it important to do this project now?

A: Just like your home or business, our school facilities need regular attention and maintenance in order to continue to operate year after year. Each year, New York State  includes in its budget funds to assist schools with their capital projects costs fund. They understand the importance of maintaining the assets that the districts across the state have accumulated and encourage local boards of education to regularly engage in capital projects aimed to safeguard those assets.  These are your hard earned tax dollars going to much needed improvements. Some of our buildings are decades old and require maintenance so they can function properly for our students.  It’s important that we perform this capital project now because our district is currently retiring debt from past projects and state aid for building projects is directly proportional to our debt. This is the most opportune time for us to enter into our next capital project because we can maintain our building aid and complete this project with no property tax increase for our residents.  

Q: What will this project do for our children and the community?

A: It will provide a safer and more productive learning environment for our students and staff. It will give our students and the community more opportunities and bring in more revenue for the district and the town.

Q: What specifically is being done?

A: There are many upgrades that need to be addressed throughout all of our buildings and on campus.

Primary Elementary

  • Handicap bathroom

  • Replace crushed drainage pipes behind the school

  • Replace Windows and doors

Why?

It is necessary that we improve the handicap accessibility of restrooms in the primary elementary school.  Not all current restrooms are handicap accessible. The crushed drainage pipe causes pooling on the grass, which at times, keeps our students from playing outside. Some of the windows and doors in this building are from 1964. Just like a home, they are ready to be replaced.

Click here for the proposed plan for the Primary Elementary School.

Upper Elementary

  • Replace windows, roof, gym floor, boilers (end of their life), fire alarm system, domestic water heaters (end of their life)

  • Repair wetlands

Why?

The Upper Elementary School is nearly 25 years old. The windows and roof are also at the end of their life. The gym floor is the same age as the school. Our students use it every single day, and it has become worn and uneven. This project will replace it and include moisture mitigation. Keeping our students safe is our number one priority, so any updates to our building that affect safety are crucial. While the fire system works, we want to make sure we have the most up-to-date system to assist firefighters and other emergency personnel to be able to respond quickly and efficiently. Just like the Primary Elementary School, there is pooling happening on the field at the Upper. This project will require an excavator to dredge the land so we can continue to hold sports practices, gym classes and other outdoor events.

Click here for the proposed plan for the Upper Elementary School.

Jr./Sr. High School

  • Softball out-field fence

  • Reconstruct tennis courts

  • Repairs to the roof

  • Replacing doors

  • Re-routing boiler flues to chimney

Why?

The current fence used on our softball field is weak and not sustainable. The new fence is heavy-duty and will better protect our athletes and others who use it. It is also portable and can be used on all of our fields and during special events. Aging roofs and doors need to be replaced in order to continue building operations. ALL of our tennis courts have stress cracks that need to be repaired.

Multi-Purpose Field

  • All-natural organic, in-fill turf

  • Reconstruction of track

  • Lights

  • Replace goal posts

Why?

The all-purpose field will give athletes and non-athletes ample opportunity for growth. The turf is made with an all-natural organic in-fill that will not adversely impact the ground water or the town’s water supply. It will accommodate everything including physical education classes, district sports practices, marching band, field band, color guard, etc. As far as community events, the field will be able to accommodate pop warner football, club soccer, little league and softball. We are frequently approached by other vendors for field rental, but because of the field’s condition and the lack of lights, we have to decline those offers. The all-purpose field will meet those specifications, which will ultimately help bring in more revenue for the school district and the town. Our proximity to the New York State Thruway makes us an attraction for others when it comes to hosting regional and sectional competitions. This field meets all the requirements, so we would have the ability to do that. It is also very low maintenance and cost-effective. Our grounds crew wouldn’t have to mow or paint the field every time there is a game scheduled, and no reseeding is necessary each year. The lights allow for our district to hold night time events like football games, practices, competitions and community events. They will also allow us more flexibility when it comes to scheduling games and practices.

Click here for the proposed plan for the multi-purpose field.

District leaders have done a tremendous amount of research in regards to the turf field. In the fall, district board members were invited to a webinar by Chenango Contracting, a leading turf company in our area who installed several fields including Utica University and New Hartford Central School District. Dr. Michael Meyers from Idaho State University, a leader in the United States in turf study safety at the High School and College level, educated listeners on injuries and turf.

Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Click here to view the webinar.

Q: What is the cost breakdown?

A: This project would be paid for, partially, with funds the state has already collected from New York State taxpayers. If this money isn’t used, we lose it, meaning it could go to other school districts for improvements. In May 2016, the community voted to approve a $5,000,000 Capital Reserve Fund. We would use this to pay for a portion of the project. Legally, we can’t take money from this account to reduce taxes, it can only be used for Capital Projects. The District is responsible for the first bond payment, BUT we will be reimbursed the year prior for that payment. We will then use that payment for the next payment. This pattern will continue for the duration of the project until the bond is paid off. Ultimately the school district will owe nothing for the project. There would be no tax increase associated with this project.

Cost & Funding breakdown

  • Total cost: $10,445,000.00

  • Percentage paid by the state: 88.8% ($8,195,000.00)

  • Percentage paid through capital reserves: 11.2% ($2,250,000.00)

Capital project image

Podcasts

WESTMORELAND BULLDOGS A "PAWED" CAST:

Episode 1: President for Westmoreland Pop Warner and Cheer, Scott Mat, and President, Gahr Morrissette, join us to talk about the capital improvement project.

Episode 2: Superintendent, Mr. Migliori, talks about what the proposed capital project entails, why it's important now and how finances work for New York State School Districts.

Episode 3: Mrs. Cutler has had a tremendous amount of success, especially when it comes to the marching band, Pride of Westmoreland. She talks about their practices during competition, the possibility of having a turf field and how it could impact them.

Episode 4: Mr. Woods and Mr. DiCunto played football together at Utica University. They played their games on turf. They talk about the differences between turf and grass and the opportunities a turf field could bring to the community.

Episode 5: Brad White is the building maintenance supervisor for Westmoreland Central School District. As part of the proposed capital project, he talks about the repairs that need to be done to the Upper Elementary and Primary Elementary Schools.

Any questions regarding this project, please email: capitalproject2024@westmorelandschool.org

We will post the questions and answers to this page.

*Please keep checking this webpage for more information regarding the Capital Improvement Project.