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Northern Adirondack's

ELLENBURG DEPOT - With a vote of 453 to 339, the Capital EXCEL Project for Northern Adirondack Central School has been defeated.

The $35.9 million project, which called for health and safety improvements at the school, would have seen $28 million in New York State Building Aid and $825,000 from the EXCEL aid, leaving $7,075,000 to taxpayers.

"I think that it's certainly tough economic times. It's tough to put out a vote this time of year," said NAC superintendent Laura J. Marlow.

Looking to the future, Marlow knows many of the projects proposed will still need to be completed one way or another.

"The bottom line is that the infrastructure problems, the leaking roofs, the safety concerns, the technology concerns, the heating concerns, the energy consumption concerns, none of those are going away," she said. "So, the bottom line is these things are going to have to be taken care of."

However, Marlow is concerned the state aid won't be available.

"The state aid picture doesn't look good," she said. "Just New York State in general, fiscally, is in turmoil ... I'm uncertain at this point in time if that EXCEL funding will still be available."

Despite the vote not passing, Marlow said she remains positive.

"We have an exit voter's survey and we had excellent results from that," she said. "A lot of people filled those out, which we'll be taking a look at."

After analyzing the survey, the board of education and administrators will reconvene, along with the Facilities Planning Committee to take a look at the "scope of the project," Marlow explained.

"It's going to be very tough decisions on where we can extract, because we felt everything was very important to the project," she said.

By law, the district will have to wait three months before a vote can be brought back to the voters.

"It's really premature for me at this point in time to say that there's any concrete plans or definitive options," said Marlow.

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