After months of discussion, voters in Greenburgh will head to the polls to vote on a $114.6 million capital project that would consolidate schools in the district.
In December, the Greenburgh Board of Education called for a vote to be held in February regarding the proposal, which includes a unified campus for all Greenburgh students. That vote was eventually pushed from Feb. 12 to Tuesday, March 19.
According to district officials, the unified campus model has been shown to deliver academic, economic and social benefits.
“This is a solution that will provide students with a safe, healthy environment to learn in while helping maintain strong surrounding property values and positively shape Greenburgh’s reputation,” the district stated. “It is a forward-thinking plan for creating state-of-the-art facilities that would elevate the learning experience, contribute to improved student performance and reduce outward migration of students. It will provide an updated playing field and track, performing arts venue, and recreation and meeting spaces for the entire community to use.”
If approved, Richard J. Bailey and Highview Elementary would close, and a new school building for students in grades 3 through 8 would be constructed. Lee F. Jackson would be expanded to include Pre-K through grade 2, and Woodlands would become our High School.
Additionally, the plan calls for a multipurpose, natural turf athletic field and press box, new track, elementary playgrounds, middle school outdoor play area, and outdoor educational spaces for all grade levels. There would be a new state-of-the-art auditorium in the new 3-8 school. all of which would be accessible to the public on non-school days and evenings.
“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.”
If approved, the $114.6 million project would represent a monthly taxpayer cost of $14 per $100,000 of residential property assessment. The monthly cost for the average Greenburgh household has been estimated at $69 a month.
“Our buildings are outdated, in a state of disrepair, and don’t meet current educational standards. Our students and residents deserve better. The 2019 Capital Plan offers a long-term solution for a brighter future,” officials said. “Our goal in putting this plan forth is to secure the votes, and thereby the funding needed to make this promising dream of unification an impactful reality for the entire community of Greenburgh.
“The plan for Greenburgh Central School District’s unified campus proposes a place for the entire community to enjoy, from its newly refurbished athletic facilities and auditoriums to its outdoor performance spaces and play areas. These kinds of improvements to campuses have proven to result in a noticeable sense of pride by students, accompanied by a new enthusiasm for attending school. Teacher morale and retention rates have also been shown to improve, also attributed to a re-energized sense of school spirit and community.”
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