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Westport School project set to cost district nothing

A proposition in the Westport Central School District to install a generator and make improvements to the school library passed, 171-157, during voting May 15.

A proposition in the Westport Central School District to install a generator and make improvements to the school library passed, 171-157, during voting May 15.

Westport Central School has voted to put a Capital Improvement project before voters on May 15 for construction proposed that would cost district taxpayers nothing.

The project will include tearing out the sun room in the library and building a newer sunroom to enclose the library, along with the purchase of a new 150-kilowatt generator for the building. The total project cost is estimated to be $450,000.

Superintendent Dr. John Gallagher said by using the undesignated reserves, an EXCEL Grant and State funding, the improvement project will have little to no impact on taxpayers.

“The whole thing is paid for so the cost to local tax payers is zero and there will be no influence on tax rate for the first years,” Gallagher said.

The project will be funded in part by an EXCEL grant, which has designated $81,396 for the district. EXCEL (EXpanding our Children’s Education and Learning) is a one-time aid grant created by the New York State Legislature to provide school districts with additional funding for specified types of school construction projects.

Gallagher said state funding for aidable work balance will cover 65.4 percent of the construction cost, amounting to roughly $293,850.

$77,000 of undesignated reserves will also be used for the project.

The construction on the sunroom, which was originally built in 1996, qualifies for the EXCEL grant as an sunroom.

“It’s disintegrating, we have what we call 12 bucket days when it rains,” Gallagher said.

Caulking around the glass panes has started to corrode over the years, Principal Architect at AES North East and project architect David Whitford said. The disintegrating caulking has resulted in massive leaks into the library and seeping water between the panes, which breaks them as it freezes.

Whitford said the board hopes to replace the sunroom with a newer sunroom that will have a solid roof instead of a glass roof. Newer sunrooms have longer warranties than older models and are designed to be more efficient.

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