March 6, 2013

ELCS renovations OK'd by voters


---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved two renovation projects for Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School.

Proposition 1, with a vote of 142-16, includes full roof replacement and other work at a cost of $341,293; it will be completely funded by state building aid and $114,000 in EXCEL monies with no impact on the local tax levy.

With a tally of 111-39 on Proposition 2, the district got the go-ahead to spend $310,000 to tear up carpeting and the underlying asbestos tile in about 20 classrooms, perform asbestos abatement and put down new flooring. 

“These are wonderful results,” School Superintendent Scott Osborne said shortly after the polls closed Tuesday night. 

ELCS District residents truly take an interest in and care about their school, he said, expressing gratitude for the mandate shown by the numbers.


For the Proposition 2 work, taxpayers will pay 4 cents per $1,000 assessed property value for 16 years.

On a property assessed at $80,000, that will be $3.20 a year.

The classroom carpeting is worn from many years of use and also was affected by flooding when rainwater invaded the school through leaks in the aged roof.

The roof, Osborne said, will be replaced with a protected-membrane roof system that will resolve longstanding issues with leaks that, in September 2012, allowed flooding by rainwater of some classrooms and hallways and other problems.

The roof was installed as part of a capital project done in 1989-90, and, Osborne said, has not had major renovation performed on it since.

Proposition 1 also includes replacement of the aged hot water heater and circulation pumps; chimney repair; and plumbing replacement in restrooms.


Osborne hopes the work can begin by July 1.

“We would like to do as much as we can when a minimum of students are here,” he said.

For a couple of reasons, it looks as if the flooring projects and asbestos abatement will take place in two phases, this summer and next, he continued.

The community makes use of the school for various purposes in summertime, Osborne said, and school officials don’t want the building to be completely unavailable.

And they want to make sure the abatement and new floors undertaken in each phase are completed in plenty of time before school resumes in the fall, he said.

“We’re going to have to now engage with our school architect (John McKenna Associates of Plattsburgh) and the Facilities Planning Unit at the State Education Department and set up our time table,” Osborne said. 

“(The architect) is going to be giving us a pretty strong assessment now that we have the green light to move forward.”

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