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Springville-Griffith schools trying again with scaled-down capital project

You can’t get a much more overwhelming rejection than 81 percent to 21 percent, which was the vote when Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District voters turned down a $38.7 million capital project in December.

“That’s a pretty clear message from our taxpayers,” Superintendent Kimberly S. Moritz said.

The School Board is looking at a scaled-down project totaling $28.22 million.

Gone are the $11 million new gym, locker rooms, fitness room and indoor track at the high school, and some of the other amenities at the district’s other schools.

“What we heard overwhelmingly and repeatedly is that our voters would support a project that addresses the necessities of caring for our facilities and grounds, without any controversial ‘extras,’ ” Moritz wrote on the district website, and on her blog,

She unveiled the new proposal at last week’s School Board meeting, and a community meeting is planned at 6 p.m. next Tuesday in the high school library media center.

The district knocked things out of the project, and added a few items in, for a net decrease of about $10 million. Because most of the project – more than the last proposal – will receive state aid, the projected cost to the property owner is less, too. The cost to the owner of a $100,000 house would be an extra $25 a year, compared with nearly $48 for the defeated project.

Moritz said she wants to hear what the voters think about the proposal before they vote on it, and she is available to meet with groups to answer questions on the proposals. She hopes that the board will approve it at its August meeting and that residents will vote in the fall.

“Almost everything in the project are things we have to do to take care of the place,” the superintendent said.

This means that roofs, sidewalks and parking lots are still in but that relocating school offices closer to the door is out. Those moves are expensive, require building new offices when existing ones are adequate, and often offer a false sense of security, she said. The most pressing need in the district is a new roof at Springville Elementary, she said. It was not included in the December project, but is in the new one.

“The best security measures we can possibly implement are those that require frequent drills so that everyone in the system knows the best way to behave in an emergency, how to think on their feet and how to follow the protocols put into place by building and district safety plans,” she said on the blog.

The proposed work includes $1.55 million at Colden Elementary, $6.52 million at Springville Elementary, $9.51 million at Springville Middle, $8.63 million at the high school and $664,000 in the district office and other buildings.