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Edgemont Bond 2024

Building Dreams

Forum at Edgemont Junior Senior High School

February 15, 2024

 

 

Panel:

Mariquita Blumberg, Board of Education President

Nareen Jabbour and Nilesh Jain, Board of Education Members

Bryan Paul, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Administration

John D’Angelo, Architect, D’Angelo & Fuller

Kyle Hosier, Edgemont Junior-Senior High School Principal

Moderator: Dr. Amy Moselhi, Assistant Business Official and Treasurer

Audience: About 40 residents

 

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

 

What does the project entail?

The $45 million in improvements planned for Edgemont Junior-Senior High School encompass a dedicated STEAM area to be located in what is currently the Large-Group Instruction room (LGI), an expansion and renovation of the cafeteria that will enable all students to have lunch in one central location across two periods and will extend preparation and serving capabilities to allow lunch service in the elementary schools, upgrades to the baseball and softball fields with synthetic turf for easier maintenance and use by a variety of sports, a new entrance and parking spaces off of Artillery Lane, renovations in the A Building to remediate moisture that has penetrated the foundation and deterioration of the building resulting from excessive humidity, and renovations of the faculty workspace and administrative office.

 

Does the proposal reduce classroom space overall?

This bond proposal allows the district to rearrange some rooms in order to recapture space that has long been underutilized. The best example of this is the Large Group Instruction (LGI) room, which is primarily used for test taking and has the capacity to accommodate many more students than it typically does. The LGI would be divided into two STEAM classrooms, and testing will likely be relocated to a standard-sized classroom, which will be sufficient to handle the number of students who usually need such a space. Using the LGI to consolidate the two STEAM classrooms, which currently sit in remote locations on campus, frees up one of those two classrooms adjacent to the LGI, Room E5, to become the new home to the Art Room, bringing it into the new STEAM hub. The old Art Room can then be repurposed for the district office to bring all administrators into one central location. Rooms that are currently housing district administrators in the library could consequently be used as group study or other student spaces. In the end, the net effect of all proposed changes is a reduction of two classrooms.

 

How have student spaces been prioritized within the bond?

The district recognizes that the EHS campus lacks student common space, and this has been supported by data dating back to 2019. The bond addresses this by expanding the footprint of cafeteria to create a centralized home base on campus where students can be together. Additionally, through the relocation of the Pupil Personnel Offices, additional student collaborative space will be recaptured in the library. The proposal also reflects this priority by planning for all student-centered spaces to be completed before work on the district offices is started.

 

How does the proposal benefit the STEAM program?

The new STEAM hub will enable teachers to collaborate on projects and instruction, which is foundational to the interdisciplinary approach that underlies this curricular area. Furthermore, the space purposefully contains bigger storage spaces that will permit the contemplation of program extensions into disciplines that require the housing of larger materials such as robotic components.

 

Why does the faculty workspace need to be updated?

EHS is unique compared to peer schools in that it does not have a 1:1 ratio of classrooms to teachers. It is thus essential that our faculty have a home to go to when the classrooms they share are being used by colleagues. The current space is dilapidated, lacks windows, and has outdated, inadequate bathrooms. The reimagined space will have conference rooms to facilitate greater collaboration, private meeting areas, new windows to bring in natural light, and updated bathrooms.

 

Why are renovations needed for administrative spaces?

The district has added administrative positions to address needs that have emerged in the past several years, including the roles of the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Assistant Business Official-Treasurer, Director of Human Resources, and Committee on Special Education (CSE) Coordinator. While the district has been able to provide office space for these new positions, these have been in varying remote locations that do not allow for the collaboration necessary for a cohesive team.

 

Has the district begun the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process?

The SEQRA process is ongoing. Independent engineering consultants have conducted a review and are partnering with the district’s attorneys to meet the timeline necessary for the bond vote.

 

The project will remove trees and add impermeable surfaces. How will Crane Pond be protected from added pollution?

The district will ensure that environmental safety is a top priority during and after construction. Retention basins will be added to mitigate outflow from the site. The district has shared the proposed design with Greenburgh municipal engineers who support this design based on the material improvement of runoff collection and management this plan provides.

 

How will the construction projects be prioritized?

The district has engaged a construction management team that will work in partnership with our architects and administrators to see the project through to completion. The timeline will depend on which projects the state approves first, with the district prioritizing the projects that will have the most impact. The cafeterias have already been designed, with minor modifications necessary before those plans are ready for submission, so they are likely to fall earlier in the queue. Administrator space will likely be the last to be tackled so it can serve as swing space to limit disruption to classrooms.

 

How will the projects be scheduled to avoid disrupting lessons and other school activities?

The construction is expected to be carried out over the next three years, with most of the work occurring during the summers. The construction management team joined the February 27th board meeting and provided a tentative timeline, which can be viewed on Board Docs or among the materials on the Bond 2024 webpage available here.

 

How does state aid figure into the bond calculus?

The district’s state reimbursement rate is about 50% for aidable work. When the district’s demographic study projected lower enrollment than was previously forecasted, the state indicated that, aside from a one-time aid adjustment on the EHS cafeteria, Edgemont would receive aid only for renovations, not for any building expansions. Although the estimated cost for the bond projects is $66,817,300, at the current building aid ratio, we anticipate receiving approximately $30,000,000 in aid to offset the financial impact.

 

Will the district consider alternative methods for controlling temperatures?

The district is committed to exploring renewable energy sources, and is always looking for ways to make its energy consumption more efficient and to lower energy costs. While alternative energy initiatives are not part of Bond 2024, the district recognizes that they could be considered in future projects, potentially through an Energy Performance Contract (EPC). Although the age of our buildings and existing HVAC equipment on our roofs implicate structural loading and capacity that have impeded the ability to leverage infrastructure-based alternative energy solutions up to this point, the Board remains committed to increasing the sustainability of the district’s energy consumption and is open to reexamining this option in the future.

 

The Edgemont School Foundation (ESF) is raising money to upgrade the auditorium. How will that dovetail with the bond projects?

The renovations to the auditorium are not included within the scope of the bond, along with several other projects the district is addressing through the capital fund like the replacement of the Greenville library windows, resurfacing of the Greenville tennis courts, and the replacement of windows at Seely Place. The district deeply appreciates its partnership with ESF and looks forward to this opportunity to underscore its commitment to the performing arts.

 

For other questions:

Details on financing and other aspects of the bond were shared at the February 27th Board of Education meeting. Presentations from that meeting are available on Board Docs and information related to the bond will be posted on the Bond webpage here, along with any new updates that will be included as available. A final forum on March 7 will cover all aspects of the plan. The bond is scheduled for a public vote on May 21st.