Members of the Broadalbin-Perth Board of Education heard from representatives from architectural firm CSArch on the district’s building conditions survey during a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 9. Randy Collins and Bryan Manning presented a draft of the survey, which is a key document in the district’s planning for an anticipated 2016 capital project referendum.
New York state requires all school districts to complete a building conditions survey every five years. The survey team conducts a visual inspection of all school buildings and grounds to assess the current conditions of all program spaces (i.e. classrooms, gymnasiums), as well as major building systems and their components, and site amenities. The purpose of the survey is to assess the buildings for evidence of structural failure or deterioration, and to determine or re-examine their useful life, need for repair and maintenance, and need for reconstruction and replacement.
According to Manning, Broadalbin-Perth’s building conditions survey shows approximately $25.7 million in what would be considered high-priority reconstruction and replacement needs. Some of the most urgent needs include replacing the water distribution system at the Perth campus, which is being required by the state Department of Health, as well as addressing parking and traffic flow at the Perth site and replacing the worn-out surfaces of the track and field at the high school.
District leaders are in the process of planning the district’s next capital project, which they anticipate putting before voters in a referendum on the same day as the annual school budget vote, Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Broadalbin-Perth is not obligated to address every need identified in the building conditions survey in the next capital project. However, Collins told the board members that delaying addressing many of the listed priorities would result in more costly solutions in the future.
Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tomlinson says the district is already working on ways to reduce the local share of the cost of the next capital project as much as possible. One of the ways the district plans to reduce the local share is through the installation of a solar array at the Perth campus. During Monday night’s meeting, the board approved a power purchase agreement with Solar Liberty, which is expected to save the district as much as $3.7 million in energy costs over the life of the agreement. Tomlinson has said that the district will use 100 percent of the savings to offset the local share of the 2016 capital project.
District leaders are in the process of meeting with various faculty and staff groups, as well as representatives from the community, including school groups such as the PTO, Broadalbin-Perth Education Foundation, local youth commissions and community leaders. Broadalbin-Perth plans to host its first public forum on the capital project planning the evening of Monday, Dec. 14 (snow date Dec. 17).