Approve Bemus Point Prop 1 And Its Needed Work

Bemus Point Central School district residents face an interesting question on Dec. 12 when they vote on the district’s two-phase, $16.4 million capital project.

There are two propositions up for approval. The first, which costs $8.4 million, includes new classroom door locks, additional security cameras, two-way radio system, additional door swipes, a new phone system, digital controls for ventilators, asbestos abatement and electrical system upgrades districtwide. Bus garage improvements include demolition of the 1939 portion of the bus garage, replacement of the bus garage roof, HVAC upgrades, modification of the bus storage areas, parking lot repairs and water well line upgrades. Bemus Point Elementary School would receive upgraded fire alarms, emergency window replacement, roof work and a new water well. Maple Grove Junior-Senior High School would receive a new secure entrance to the building, renovation of the Health Office, renovation of the Art, Industrial Arts and Science classrooms, renovation of the Library/Media center, floor repairs, sound and lighting systems in the auditorium, replacement of lockers, recoating of the track, refinishing the gym floor, replacement/repair of the exterior building panels, and renovation of lobby bathrooms.

All of that work comes at a cost a total of $8.4 million, and won’t increase taxes by replacing expiring debt from 1994 and 1999 capital projects with the new debt. The bus garage work has to be done or else the district can’t store buses in its garage. The fact it can be done with no impact to the tax levy makes approving this project a no-brainer. Technology means some classrooms need to be renovated to better educate students in the 21st century, as is part of the planned art, industrial arts and science classroom renovations. HVAC, asbestos abatement and electrical system upgrades are the types of things that have to be done for the building to be used properly.

The work is much like the recent multi-million dollar project in the Jamestown Public Schools District in that it is necessary infrastructure work. The work is necessary for the proper use and maintenance of the school. The time and cost for the work in Proposition One is right. Voters should approve the project.