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Iroquois voters deciding the fate of two capital improvement projects

Residents in the Iroquois Central School District are heading to the polls Wednesday to decide whether to approve two capital improvement projects that won’t affect how much they pay in taxes.

The first proposition is a $17 million facilities reconstruction and renovation, a “no-frills” project to make several needed repairs.

The second proposition is a $6 million “community-initiated” athletic renovation.

District officials point out that Proposition 1 has zero local tax impact and will address health and safety issues, along with upgrading security and improved technology infrastructure.

“Between state aid and what we have in reserve, there will not be a tax impact to the taxpayer,” Superintendent Douglas Scofield said.

The project includes roof reconstruction at Marilla Primary, the middle school and the high school, improving insulation and installing additional roof drains.

According to district documents, the new roofing holds a 30-year warranty.

After safety renovations are complete, all district buildings will have entrance vestibules with “security zones” to identify people entering the building, and all doors will be equipped with an electronic locking system for security.

Funds also will be used to make repairs to district parking lots and driveways, along with reconstruction of heating and ventilation systems.

A 60-year-old steam boiler and associated distribution system in the middle school will be replaced and upgraded.

Fire alarm system upgrades, asbestos abatement and an upgrade to the middle school auditorium’s lighting are also planned.

The sports facility proposition is dependent on two things: The first proposition must pass, and the Iroquois sports boosters must succeed in raising the local contribution – about $2 million – for the project by Feb. 28, 2017.

If both don’t happen, then the district will not follow through with Proposition 2.

“It is strictly donations,” Board President Charles Specht said. “They get the donations, the project goes forward; if they don’t get the donations, it does not go forward. Funds will not be used from our reserves.”

The proposed facility includes a multipurpose synthetic turf field, an eight-lane 400-meter track and bleachers and would be built on the current athletic field located west of Girdle Road, across from the main school campus.

The idea of upgrading the sports program developed after several residents approached district officials last year seeking a new sports facility.

Scofield said from the start that the group intended to use donations to fund the project, to keep the public from having to foot the bill.

“Listening to the public, and their plan that it would be no cost to the taxpayers, that sounded like something that we could more forward with,” Scofield said.

The district vote takes place until 9 p.m. Wednesday in the intermediate building, 2111 Girdle Road, Elma.