The Canastota Central School District community approved on December 5th a capital project referendum that will invest $25.89 million in significant infrastructure and safety needs at its four schools.
The final tally was 347 yes and 138 no votes.
Superintendent Shawn Bissetta applauded the community’s support of the Building Excellence proposal, which will increase school safety, install an all-weather athletic field, and provide for critical repairs, replacements and upgrades to mechanical, plumbing, electrical and infrastructure needs throughout the district.
“This work will not only help modernize our school facilities, it will help provide additional educational opportunities for all of our students well into the future. And by taking advantage of state building aid, we are able to complete this work at a fraction of its actual cost,” Bissetta said. “My sincere thanks to the entire Canastota community for supporting this project and ensuring that our schools are the best they can be.”
The district plans to use $3.2 million from its Capital Reserve Fund in addition to approximately $19.29 million in state building aid to reduce the local tax impact as much as possible. The anticipated annual local tax impact will range from $10-$28 on a $100,000 home, depending on the homeowner’s STAR exemption status.
Board of Education President Bill Haddad said the project’s passage is a win for all district residents, whether or not they have children currently attending school.
“The Canastota education facility is a huge component of our economy, as well as a key deciding factor for families when relocating to this area,” Haddad said. “Securing funding for our schools is an investment in our future. Investing in our schools today will have lasting positive impact in our community. Your approval of this project sends a clear message that you are willing to invest in our students and the future of our local region.”
Bissetta, Haddad and other district leaders will now work with architects and state officials to finalize the project’s scope, cost and timeline. The preliminary plan is for construction to begin in the spring of 2021 and to take about 18 months to complete, pending final approval of plans by the State Education Department.