After months of discussion and consideration, the Greenburgh Board of Education voted to give the community more time to decide whether to consolidate each of its schools onto one campus.
The community was originally scheduled to vote on the $114.6 million bond on whether to consolidate all schools to the Warburg campus on Tuesday, Feb. 12. On Wednesday, the Board unanimously determined that they would postpone that public vote until Tuesday, March 19.
According to the Board, “area residents voiced the need for more time to evaluate details of the community-driven capital project. The current proposal is a scaled-down version of a previously discussed plan. It retains the vision of a unified campus, but takes a more financially conservative approach with a lower tax impact on residents.”
“We, as a board, want to make sure that each and every resident in the Greenburgh Central School District has a full understanding of the details of this proposal,” Board of Education President David Warner said. “That’s why we are delaying the vote, to enable more discussion and allow time for residents to critically evaluate the virtues of the plan.”
If approved, the unified campus would take the school district from five buildings to three. Lee F. Jackson Elementary School would be expanded and renovated to serve pre-K through grade 2. Students in grades 3 through 8 would be taught in a newly constructed school building, with separate wings for grades 3 through 5 and 6 through 8.
Highview Elementary School and Richard J. Bailey Elementary School, which the Board said “are not meeting current educational standards,” would close and be sold. The district said it “now plans to prioritize the essential facility needs of the high school through annual budgets and anticipates doing so within the state-imposed tax cap.”
The scaled-down version of the project is $51.4 million less than the original proposal. If approved the amended 2019 Capital Project would result in a tax impact of $14 per month, per $100,000 of assessed property value, averaged over 30 years.
“This is a well-conceived plan that will provide safe and secure, state-of-the-art learning spaces for every Greenburgh student; all on a campus that was donated decades ago expressly for the education of our community’s children,” Schools Superintendent Tahira DuPree Chase said. “Single campus learning environments improve quality of life for families and academic outcomes for students.”
The Board said that “new classrooms will be designed with students in mind; to enhance their educational experience by creating an environment that drives critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration. The unified campus model also provides benefits that can lead to improved academic performance, including fewer transitions, extended inter-grade learning, closer and sustained student/teacher relationships and greater peer tutoring and mentoring opportunities. Higher attendance rates and improved student behavior have also been attributed to this unified campus model.”
“Reaching this exciting moment has taken some careful consideration of our needs as a district, along with some very thoughtful compromises,” Chase added. “In this district, our focus is always on our children, and I believe this plan lays out a vision for the brightest possible future we can provide them as a supportive community of educators, neighbors and families. And, when we empower our youth by providing strong schools, we also invest mightily in our community.”
The Board of Education announced a series of public meetings to explain the intricacies of the Capital Project:
- Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at Richard J. Bailey Elementary School;
- Saturday, Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. presentation at Richard J. Bailey Elementary School, followed by a tour of districtwide facilities;
- Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.at The Greenburgh Public Library;
- Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. at Highview Elementary School;
- Thursday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. at The Theodore Young Community Center.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.