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When Starpoint School District residents go to the polls May 17 to elect School Board members and act on a budget for the coming school year, they also will consider spending $877,500 to repair school buildings.

The projects include new roofing and ventilation hoods, plus copper piping beneath the swimming pool.

Michael Johannes, director of facilities and operations, said insulation beneath the middle school roof has become saturated with moisture over the last five years. Also, he said, wind has damaged the ventilation hoods, and the copper piping is deteriorating.

The repairs are needed to stave off further damage, he said.

Sam J. Geraci, the School Board's vice president, said the board will not have to borrow to pay for the work and will end up getting $45,000 a year in state reimbursements.

He also noted that "we have received more than $600,000 in onetime state reimbursements. The administration recouped the money after it discovered the state owed the district money. That was for state aid we were entitled to, but never received over the past few years."

He said the district has changed the way it invests its money and is getting better returns.

Geraci also said the district will receive a $90,000 refund from the Board of Cooperative Educational Services because it had overpaid BOCES based on estimated program costs.

"These are onetime revenues that we won't receive again going against a onetime expense, and the cost is 78 percent aidable through the state," Geraci said.

He said the money could have been used to lower taxes for one year, but no sources of money would be available to maintain the tax cut. So a large tax hike would be required the following year, he said.

Stephen J. Lunden, director of administrative services, said one section of the middle school roof is "70 percent saturated, and we have to replace it to keep up the building. It will cost $580,000 to do that."

Patching the rest of the school's roof will cost another $142,000, he said, and patching areas of the intermediate and Fricano Primary schools' roofs will cost more money, Lunden said.


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