Voters in the Eden Central School District will decide two propositions in a referendum Tuesday.
Proposition 1 carries a $12.25 million cost and would convert Eden Junior-Senior High School, which holds seventh through 12th grades, into a middle school-high school.
Sixth-graders would shift from Eden Elementary to the junior-senior high school. The superintendent’s office and the business office would relocate from the junior-senior high school to the elementary school.
The first proposition also includes technology enhancements, more secure entrances and renovations to cafeterias, restrooms, offices, classrooms and music rooms, among other items.
Superintendent Sandra J. Anzalone stressed the need for improvements after the Board of Education endorsed the project Oct. 21.
“Our buildings are aging,” she said. “We haven’t had a capital project in at least 10 years.”
In the second component, Proposition 2, the district would pay $9.9 million to install an artificial turf field with lights, upgrade gymnasiums in all three schools and enhance art, music and technology facilities, among other items.
The football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey teams would use the field. Although officials eliminated the varsity football team for 2015 because of a player shortage, they hope to re-establish it next year. The district also has modified and junior varsity football teams.
Using an artificial turf field would let the lacrosse teams practice at the school in March and April instead of using the artificial turf field at North Collins Junior-Senior High School. Snow melts and drains more quickly on artificial turf than on grass.
During discussions about the project, Anzalone emphasized that replacing the grass field with turf would also remove the mowing expense from the budget.
She also hopes that it would reduce the number of injuries.
“We feel it’s safer,” Anzalone said. “All the studies show the impact is safer on turf than it is on hard-pack grass.”
Lights would be directed away from nearby homes.
If voters give their approval to the measures, officials plan to spend $6 million from the capital reserve fund for Proposition 1 and $2 million from the fund for Proposition 2. They also expect to receive state building aid. Most of the project’s funding would be borrowed, coming through bonds issued by the district.
If voters approve both propositions, officials hope to start construction June 1, 2017. They want to complete the project in 2020.
For more details, visit the district’s website at edencsd.org.
Residents may vote from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the hallway in front of the junior-senior high school’s auditorium.