By Holly Crocco
Voters in the Brewster Central School District last week approved a two-part $83 million capital project across the campus.
“I want to thank Brewster voters for supporting students by providing safe and state-of-the-art learning facilities, as well as providing funds for critical improvements across the district,” said Superintendent Dr. Laurie Bandlow.
Proposition one, which passed by a vote of 746 to 452, includes boiler replacement at all of the buildings, as well as roof replacement and sidewalk improvements, mechanical and plumbing upgrades, updated lighting and other energy-efficient improvements.
It also includes the addition of a new cafetorium at C.V. Starr Intermediate School, “which is a cafeteria and an auditorium in one space,” explained Joe Fuller from Fuller & D’Angelo Architects and Planners during a December presentation. It will be located in the back of the school below the entrance level.
The 14,000-square-foot addition will include about 7,500 square feet of cafeteria space and a 1,300-square-foot stage.
Also as part of proposition one, additional parking, a new security vestibule, an expanded outdoor track and a new synthetic turf field within the track are planned at the high school.
By adding a walking path around the track with an asphalt base that can be plowed in the winter, and low-level lighting, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Victor Karlsson explained that more walkers can use it year-round.
Also, adding two walkways, a staircase and a ramp at the southern entrance of the parking lot will allow more people to park toward the south end, instead of congesting the north side like visitors currently do.
Fuller explained late last year that proposition two – which last week passed by a vote of 639 to 557 – includes the creation of a 19,200-square-foot field house and fitness center, which will allow the district to move the weight room into the new space, freeing up space for the ROTC program to move over, thus creating space for the addition of a STEM lab.
Karlsson noted that the field house will allow for athletics to continue uninterrupted during the year, such as in March and April when the cold can still sideline spring sports, and in the summer when the heat index is high.
Proposition one is covered entirely through building aid, capital funds on-hand, and retiring of existing debt. Proposition two will cost the district about $23 million, offset by building aid and will be financed over 15 to 20 years. It will cost taxpayers about $20 more per $100,000 of assessed value per year.
“The board is grateful to the community for its support of both proposition one and proposition two of our capital improvement project for the district,” said Brewster School Board President Kerry Cunningham. “These enhancements will have significant positive impacts on students and staff, and the community at large. We thank the community members and district staff who worked so diligently to put forward proposals that the community could support.”