Board of Education to Decide Preliminary Scope Dec. 19

Dear Pelham Parents and Community Members,

For the past several months, the Board of Education has been studying a variety of possible facilities projects that could be included in a proposed bond referendum planned for May 2018.

Over each of its last two meetings, the Board has been working to prioritize these projects based on their seriousness, urgency, and likelihood of the issue getting worse if not addressed. These discussions will culminate in a determination of a preliminary bond scope that will be shared at the Board’s meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 7:15 pm in the Middle School Library.

Following that meeting, the District will commence the required State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process for the selected projects while simultaneously working with our architect and construction manager on the initial design process and refining prices. After reviewing the information gleaned from those processes, along with feedback from the community, the Board will propose a final scope in March that will be subject to a community-wide referendum in May 2018.

In addition to a new Hutchinson School, a variety of infrastructure, capacity and quality of life projects are currently under consideration for the proposed scope. These include but are not limited to:

  • Electrical upgrades at Siwanoy, Colonial and Prospect Hill, which are necessary to meet the increased demand of learning technology and which would also allow the installation of air conditioning, in whole or in part, in the future
  • Replacement of HVAC rooftop units at Pelham Middle School, which have reached the end of their useful life and have needed costly repairs in recent years, and
  • Re-locating District offices to create additional classrooms and an orchestra rehearsal room at PMHS
  • Select field improvements at the Glover Complex

As a potential solution to projected capacity issues, the Board is discussing a building extension or reconfiguration of existing classrooms at Prospect Hill. Due to a lack of space, the school is currently using a push-in model for music and enrollment projections show growth of at least one class over the next three years. While the size of a possible extension remains under discussion, the new addition could also be used to move classrooms out of the basement, create additional related-services space, and/or provide space for District offices. The Board will continue to explore other options to alleviate capacity issues at Prospect Hill, as well as Colonial School, which is projected to grow by two sections over the next few years.

Other capital improvements that are under consideration include science lab upgrades at PMHS, playground enhancements at Colonial and Siwanoy, and funding for possible property acquisition at Colonial.

Please send an email to boe@pelhamschools.org with any questions, comments or concerns. Additional information on the proposed bond, including Frequently Asked Questions, previous presentations, and enrollment/demographic reports is available at www.pelhamschools.org/bond.

Sincerely,

The Pelham Board of Education