Board of Education adopts resolution for new capital project to renovate Union Springs bus garage with 0% additional increase on tax levy
(March 13, 2018) - Last night, the Union Springs Board of Education adopted a resolution for district residents to vote upon that will authorize the district to undertake a capital improvement project consisting of renovations of the existing bus garage at a total estimated cost not to exceed $1,484,018 and to pay for the costs of such project by spending $1,484,018 from the 2017 Capital Reserve Fund approved by the district's voters in May of 2017, subject to the applicable amount of state building aid which may be received for the project. This project will result in a 0% additional increase on the tax levy.
Every year, the Board looks for ways to maintain and protect district assets, including buildings and facilities. Regular maintenance and repair helps prevent large-scale projects and taxpayer burden. The roof over the bus garage has been closely monitored for several years, as its warranty expired in 2013; the Building Condition Survey idicated a need and a plan for replacement. The driveway and parking areas have noticeably deteriorated and replacement is necessary, not only because of the condition of the pavement but also drainage issues. Electrical, door replacement, and proposed upgrades are required by changes in codes and regulations and must be included in any capital project approved. Voters will vote on this project on May 15, 2018 as part of the annual budget vote.
Front and back of the bus garage pictured to the right. In the photos and descriptions below, we have outlined the components that the district has identified needs to be addressed in the proposed capital project.
Replace the trench drain at the entrance to the facility.
Replace asphalt parking lot - full depth.
Clean out existing drainage pond and structures.
Picture of the drainage pond at the bus garage after it was first installed.
Picture of drainage pond at the bus garage now.
Picture of drainage pond at the bus garage now.
Picture of drainage pond at the bus garage now.
Replace the existing fuel island - 1 Diesel pump.
Repair the electric to failed block heater stanchions.
Replace flag pole and restore site sign.
Replace exterior lighting fixtures with LED (11 Building mounted and 8 pole mounted).
In addition to the items described and pictured above, other needs identified in the civil scope include:
- Installing salvaged parking lot asphalt millings on the existing gas well service road
- Installing a concrete pad under front of buses
- Remove existing underground fuel tank and installing an above ground tank, diesel only, as gasoline provided off site through a shared municipal agreement
- Replacing the building oil separator
Building Envelope Scope
Clean and refinish exterior EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems).
Replace existing overhead doors.
In addition to the items described and pictured above, other needs identified in the building envelope scope include:
- Replacing the 1998 vintage roof - warranty expired in 2013.
- Replacing the existing hollow metal exterior doors, frames, and hardware with new aluminum frames and Fiber Reinforced Panel (FRP) doors.
- Removing the interior overhead garage door and install an exterior rolling garage door in the east work bay
Remove and reinstall existing door system. Repair existing concrete subfloor. Replace exterior door threshold.
Replace existing floor and ceiling, and repaint the office and drivers work area.
Replace existing interior doors, frames, and hardware into the existing bus wash using aluminum frames, Fiber Reinforced Panel (FRP) doors with vision panels.
Remove existing failing linear trench drains; install new trench drains and repair concrete in west work bay,
Repair floor tile in women's bathroom, and correct the low water pressure in both women's and men's bathrooms.
In addition to the items described and pictured above, other needs identified in the interior scope include:
- Cleaning and repainting the walls in the maintenance area; exposed structure to remain unpainted.
- Installing spray foam around entire interior perimeter of the building to eliminate air penetration.
- Repairing/replacing the bus lift.
- Installing an epoxy floor finish in the maintenance bay, storage areas, and bus wash (includes new striping).
- Re-balancing existing HVAC in the office area.
- Installing a make-up heater for the bus wash bay to allow the existing exhaust fan to be utilized to dehumidify the wash bay and adjacent spaces.
- Evaluating the existing gas well service and installing improved controls on the service.
- Installing a new water softener.
- Replacing the existing air compressor.
- Installing a new 10 camera surveillance system including a new head end (5 cameras on building, 5 on existing lighting poles).
- Installing access control points at each exterior door (card or fob readers).
- Installing LED lighting fixtures in office and maintenance areas.
Union Springs Central School District's
Bus Garage Capital Project
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why did the Union Springs Board of Education consider this project?
Every year, the Board looks for ways to maintain and protect district assets, including buildings and facilities. Regular maintenance and repair helps prevent large-scale projects and taxpayer burden. The roof over the bus garage has been closely monitored for several years, as its warranty expired in 2013; the Building Condition Survey idicated a need and a plan for replacement. The driveway and parking areas have noticeably deteriorated and replacement is necessary, not only because of the condition of the pavement but also drainage issues. Electrical, door replacement, and proposed upgrades are required by changes in codes and regulations and must be included in any capital project approved. The district has the funds in the 2017 Capital Reserve Fund to pay for the project. There is no borrowing associated with this project, and this project will result in a 0% additional increase on the tax levy.
Why do school district's propose capital projects to complete necessary work?
A capital project is funded predominantly by state building aid in order to enable school district's to invest in their facilities by making repairs, renovations, and updates necessary to ensure healthy and safe learning and working environments for students and staff with much less of a financial burden on local taxpayers and school budgets. The items included in capital projects represent one-time expenditures that would be next to impossible to pay for out of the district’s annual operating budget, on which residents vote each May, so the state offers financial incentives in the form of state building aid for school districts to utlize. State building aid is only available on work completed as part of a capital project. USCSD receives approximately 78% of capital project costs in state building aid, which is a significant amount of money for the district and local taxpayers. Without a capital project, school districts would have to find ways to fund this work through annual operating budgets with no state building aid incentive, which would make the project cost prohibitive. A capital project is the most effective way to complete work of this scope.
Why can’t the items included in the proposed project be included in the annual school budget?
The district receives approximately 78% state building aid on all eligible capital project expenses, which means that 78% of approved expenditures will be paid by New York State. Not only could the district not afford to include the items in the proposed project in the annual budget, but the district would also forfeit eligibility for state building aid on the expenses.
Why did the Board of Education pursue this capital project?
The board pursued this project for several reasons:
• The district receives approximately 78% in building aid, which means that for every eligible dollar spent on a capital project, the district will receive 78 cents from New York State in the form of aid.
• The district will utilize the 2017 Capital Reserve Fund to cover the cost of the project. There is no bonding or borrowing of funds associated with this project.
• This project will allow for some much needed work to be done at a 0% additional increase on the tax levy!
• Delaying the work proposed in the capital project would end up costing the district and taxpayers more over the long run, as such the timing of this project presents considerable economic benefits.
• The items that have been identified as needing repair would continue to deteriorate, and renovations and repairs will end up costing more in the future.
• Without this project, the district may be obligated to use annual operating costs in order to maintain the facilities, making short-term repairs that are not cost-effective.
How can a $1.484 million project result in a 0% additional increase on the tax levy?
State building aid would pay for approximately 78% of the proposed project. Because of sound financial planning by the Board of Education, the district has these funds in the 2017 Capital Reserve Fund and does not need to borrow or bond for the project. The district simply needs voter authorization to spend the money already in the reserve, which results in a 0% additional increase on the tax levy.
What happens if bids for this work end up being more than $1.484 million?
The Board of Education can only spend up to the specific amount distict voters approve If bids end up being higher than originally anticipated, the district would need to scale back the extent of work in the capital project to stay within the authorized amount approved by voters.
How will the capital project affect the district’s annual budget?
The project would be exclusively paid for by the 2017 Capital Reserve Fund, which can only be used to cover building projects. Therefore, the district does not anticipate any increases in costs associated with district operations or maintenance as a result of the capital project.
When will this capital project be completed?
Work is anticipated to begin late in the summer of 2019 and will be completed by the fall/winter of the same year.
Why does a capital project process take so long?
Once voters approve a capital project, engineers and architects must prepare and submit complete construction plans and specifications to the State Education Department (SED) for approval. Currently, the state has a 40-week backlog for approving capital projects after voter approval.
Where can I get more information about this capital project?
There is a public forum scheduled for Monday, May 7 at 6:00 p.m. at the Union Springs bus garage, 39 Grove St, Union Springs, NY 13160. All community members are welcome to attend and ask questions or state concerns regarding this project. If you are unable to attend or have additional questions, please call the Union Springs District Office at (315) 889-4101.