ELMSFORD, N.Y. By relocating Elmsford Village Hall to the Carl L. Dixson Primary School building, Elmsford Mayor Robert Williams said, the school district's capital plan costs could be kept to a minimum.
The Elmsford school district's capital plan, which would shut down Carl L. Dixson and expand Alice E. Grady Elementary School, would ultimately cost up to $16.5 million, Superintendent Barbara Peters said at a district community forum Tuesday night. But under Williams' plan, Elmsford taxpayers wouldn't be burdened by what are necessary renovations, he said.
"We all know the Dixson school is not up to full standards," he said. "By not putting any more money into Dixson, we'll be saving millions."
If the community approves the capital plan in a December referendum, all of Dixson's students would be transferred to Grady after the building is expanded. Williams' plan is to move the village offices into the Dixson building and transform it into a Police Department, Village Hall and new senior community center. Selling the school to the village would help relieve the school's debt, while selling the current Village Hall would relieve further debt, he said.
"It would be a win-win," Williams said, adding that the municipal building would be put onto the Elmsford tax roll.
Grady's expansion would include a 2,400-square-foot wing used as a multipurpose room, along with additions for a music room, nurse area and kitchen. Other immediate priorities also would be attended to, such as roof repair, deteriorated parking lots, ventilation and boilers, which are put at an estimated $5 million.
"We're doing the best we can with what we have, but right now, even the best isn't adequate," Madeline Paneto-Gonzalez, principal of Dixson and Grady, said about the schools' needing renovations. "We can truly be one community, and the teachers can articulate together."
On Thursday night, the Elmsford Board of Education will vote on three resolutions: Grady's immediate repairs, state environmental review requirements and the bond referendum for the project. The December referendum will be open to Elmsford school district residents, said school board President Matthew Evans, and if passed, construction would begin in November 2013.
Evans added that there haven't been any enrollment issues in the district, and the capital plan could benefit the schools both academically and financially.
"If you look at the price tag, that's one thing. But now, let's look at all the possible revenue," Evans said.
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