Board of Education Reviews Details of Capital Improvement Project proposal
At its September 8 meeting, the Katonah-Lewisboro Board of Education reviewed details of the $49.5 million Capital Improvement Project proposal which goes to a community vote on October 18, 2022. The proposal, designed by the Board-appointed Facilities Committee and first presented to the BOE on June 16, 2022, includes strategic upgrades at all five schools to create modern, flexible teaching and learning environments especially in the areas of science, technology and performing arts; update aging infrastructure; reduce environmental impact and enhance security.
“It’s important to give our community as much information as possible about this proposal,” said Superintendent Andrew Selesnick. He noted that each resident will be mailed an informative newsletter regarding the Capital Improvement Project proposal. Soon, posters announcing the October 18 vote will be hung at schools, grocery stores, libraries and community centers throughout Katonah-Lewisboro, and explanatory pieces will be distributed at back-to-school events, curriculum nights and at community-based locations. In addition, on October 3 and 4 there will be in-person public events dedicated to providing more information. The time and place will be announced on the district’s website, Facebook page and through an email to the community.
Plans are also underway for a meeting with Katonah-Lewisboro’s municipal leaders to inform them about the Capital Improvement Project proposal.
During the meeting, Board trustee Rory Burke asked for clarification on the term “maker space,” a new learning environment planned for each elementary school. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Mary Ford gave an overview of the age-appropriate spaces where students use design thinking to create digital and physical solutions to problems. Superintendent Selesnick spoke to the outdated step labs at the middle and high school—underutilized spaces designed for remote learning more than twenty years ago—and the opportunity to reintegrate them as modern learning environments.
In response to Board trustee Elana Shneyer’s question about state aid, Assistant Superintendent Danelle Placella explained that approximately 31% of all work proposed in the project scope would be eligible for New York State building aid. “Over time, as funds are expended, we will be eligible for approximately $17.1 million in aid from New York State.”
Board of Education President Marjorie Schiff highlighted the wide variety of viewpoints and expertise of those on the Facilities Committee well as their commitment to advancing educational opportunities in the most economically sustainable manner.
“This is an exciting time for our school district,” said Schiff. “We will see some amazing transformation of spaces. We are doing it in a really responsible manner. We have a lot to be proud of and be excited about.”
More information can be found on klschools.org, including a link to send questions about the proposed improvements.