$21.6M schools plan goes to Rome voters Tuesday

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ROME — Voters in the Rome City School District can have their say on Tuesday, March 22, on the district’s proposed $21.6 million capital project, which includes repairs and renovations at all of the district’s elementary schools (with the exception of flood-damaged Staley Elementary School on East Bloomfield St.), Strough Middle School and Rome Free Academy.

The RFA portion of the project includes construction of artificial turf multi-purpose fields at Rome Free Academy, which includes a baseball/softball/physical education field complex with artificial turf, grandstands, parking, lighting, sidewalks and dugouts, as well as the resurfacing of the tennis courts at Rome Free Academy on Dart Circle.

Residents are eligible to vote in the district’s referendum if they are at least 18 years old and have lived in the school district at least 30 days prior to the vote. The polls will be open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Here is an overview of the project with information from the district’s website, public presentations and mailer to district residents:

Proposition:

Authorizes the board of education to undertake a $21,608,018 capital improvement project of repairs and renovations at all elementary schools, Strough Middle School and construction of turf multi-purpose fields at Rome Free Academy.

-Projected cost: $21,608,018

-Estimated local share per year: $0

-Estimated impact per $100,000 home value: $0.

-Estimated % impact on tax levy: 0%

-Capital reserves: Project would use $3,410,000 from the district’s capital reserve to offset local cost and achieve a 0% tax impact

Why is the work needed?

“There are needs at the high school to replace the fire alarm system throughout the building and to provide physical education fields for use at the high school to reduce district leasing and busing to off-site sports complexes. Establishment of safe and secure vestibules throughout all elementary schools provide enhanced safety measures for students and staff from potential intruder situations.”

How does this project benefit the community?

“This project benefits the community by improving our building infrastructures and facilities to reduce annual leasing and busing costs, as well as providing enhanced safety features for students and staff within all school buildings.”

What are the estimated project costs?

“The total combined cost of the capital project proposition is $21,608,018. … The work included in the proposition will be paid using a combination of state aid funding and the district’s capital reserve.”

What is the project timeline?

“If the bond vote is successful, work on the design phase/NYSED submission would begin Spring 2022 - Spring 2023. The project would be bid and construction would commence during the spring of 2024. It would be anticipated to have all the work completed in the fall of 2026.”

Rome Free Academy, 95 Dart Circle — $17,179,625

Work to include: New artificial turf multi-purpose baseball/softball field complex; tennis court resurfacing and reconstruction; interior fire alarm system replacement; continued general maintenance items; continued general maintenance items at stadium support complex.

Lyndon H. Strough Middle School, 801 Laurel St. — $327,564

Work to include: Mechanical and plumbing system replacements/upgrades; stairwell improvements.

All elementary schools — $4,100,829 (combined)

Work to include: Main office and vestibule reconstruction to establish a safe and secure entry vestibule; continued general maintenance items.

Estimated cost per elementary school:

-Jerry C. Clough School (District offices, district pre-K program), 409 Bell Road: $285,600;

-Francis Bellamy Elementary School, 7118 Brennon Ave.: $1,045,296;

-Louis V. Denti Elementary School, 1001 Ruby St.: $356,592;

-Gansevoort Elementary School, 758 W. Liberty St.: $990,624;

-John E. Joy Elementary School, 8194 Bielby Road: $89,148;

-Ridge Mills Elementary School, 7841 Ridge Mills Road: $949,627;

-Stokes Elementary School, 9095 Turin Road: $383,942.

Polling locations:

The following poll locations will be open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

-First and Second Ward: District Offices, 409 Bell Road;

-Third Ward: Redeemer Church, 129 North Washington St.;

-Fourth Ward: Gansevoort School, 758 W. Liberty St.;

-Fifth Ward: Strough Middle School, 801 Laurel St.;

-Sixth Ward: St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 1807 Bedford St.;

-Seventh Ward: Copper City Community Connection, 305 E. Locust St.;

-Eighth and Ninth Ward: Stokes School, 9095 Turin Road;

-10th Ward: Western Town Library, 9172 Main St., Westernville.

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