Superintendent Champ Recommends Projects for Bond, Board Plans Final Decision on March 13

The Pelham Board of Education on Tuesday, March 6 began consideration of a final bond referendum proposal that is expected to be put to voters in May. The Board is expected to reach a decision on the final bond scope at its March 13 meeting. At that time, the Board is also expected to make a declaration related to the State Environmental Quality Review Act process that is required under state law.

The initial proposal, which was recommended by Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ, includes two separate propositions that would require approval by a majority of registered voters. Proposition A may be approved on its own, or in conjunction with Proposition B. Proposition B may only be approved if Proposition A is also approved.

Proposition A:

  • New Hutchinson School
  • Renovation at MS/HS to provide additional classrooms and science room upgrades
  • Replacement of roof and parapets on the PMHS Annex
  • Replacement of Rooftop HVAC at Pelham Middle School

Proposition B:

  • Tennis Court replacement at Glover Complex
  • Turfing of Baseball fields varsity A and B at Glover Complex
  • Renovation of Richie Bell Field at Glover Complex
  • Dug out and site work around Friendship Field at Glover Complex
  • Irrigation and renovation of Prospect Hill field
  • Drainage and renovations at Ingalls field

The Board discussed each of these projects and specifically asked for further information on the replacement of the rooftop HVAC at Pelham Middle School. Additionally, the Board requested more information to consider the inclusion of accessibility and security upgrades for Prospect Hill School.

KG&D Architect Russ Davidson and Construction Manager Dominic Calgi will discuss finalized costs with the Board at its March 13 meeting. Fred Wells, a representative with the District’s environmental review consultant Tim Miller Associates, will also attend the meeting on March 13 to review the Environmental Assessment Form for the Board’s consideration and action. The ballot language, inclusive of final costs, is expected to be approved by the Board at its meeting on March 27. If the bond is approved, all projects will be subject to competitive bidding. The District will also work with KG&D and its financial advisors to maximize the amount of state building aid that will be received and partially offset the total cost of the bond. Along with the final amount of the bond, the District will make public the local share to be paid through school taxes, which will factor-in state aid projections.

“Over the past several months, we have conducted an extensive analysis of many projects for inclusion in the bond proposal.” said Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ. “In recommending these specific projects, I sought to address priority areas related to infrastructure, capacity, safety, and ADA compliance while remaining respectful of our taxpayers.

“Renovating the District office space will create additional classroom space that will ease capacity issues for both the middle school and high school.  Replacing the roof and parapets on the PMHS annex – which are original to the building’s 1964 construction -- will stop water intrusion that can cause damage over time,” Dr. Champ continued. “The HVAC units on top of the middle school, which are used to heat and cool the building, are also nearing the end of their useful lives and have resulted in increased maintenance costs in recent years.

“Construction of a new Hutchinson School would address issues we face in the current building, such as accessibility, security, capacity to meet our current and projected enrollment, and learning spaces to support modern instructional practices. Additionally, the District will be able to help ease capacity issues at Colonial Elementary through relocation of programming into the new school,” she added. “Lastly, this proposal includes an option to upgrade our athletic facilities, which are used not only by our students, but by the entire community.”

 Over the next few weeks, the District will work with its financial advisors to project the tax impact that would result from the bond. Additionally, the District has been developing and will share a 15-year Capital Improvement Plan that will clearly lay out a timeline to address other facilities work over time.

More information on each of the proposed projects will be forthcoming.