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Yorktown School Board Rejects BOCES Project

YORKTOWN, N.Y.— The Yorktown Central School District School Board voted unanimously against the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES capital improvement plan Monday that would include repairs at BOCES schools.

Board President Jackie Carbone explained that the board had two main questions regarding the project: whether the project could be broken up into smaller pieces and if there could be a project manager for the improvement projects. Carbone said BOCES has said the project could not be broken up, and that it was considering the prospect of adding a project manager, but had not yet added one.

The proposed project , presented to each of the districts that utilize the BOCES schools for its own students, includes work done on the roofs, HVAC work, a therapeutic pool in the Pines Bridge/Walden School and a fire alarm/public announcement system at the school services building.

Each member of the Yorktown board voted no in the roll call vote and Karen Corrado, vice president, and Carbone gave explanations.

“This is something I think that we need to support down the road, but because they have not met our requirements I’m going to vote no,” Corrado said.

Carbone said she felt the same.

“I would very much like to support this but without knowing if there’s going to be a construction manager and without some of the other questions we’ve asked to be answered, answered I’m going to vote the same,” she said.

The Yorktown vote made Yorktown the fifth district in the 18 BOCES component district to vote no as of Tuesday.

BOCES Superintendent Tom Higgins in December said much of the project includes roofs and HVAC work because the roofs were all installed at the same time and have been repaired over their 15-16 year life span but are all starting to deteriorate at the same time. Eighty three percent of the BOCES capital improvement project is made up of the roof and HVAC work. Higgins also explained that the HVAC work is not being done all at once, rather it has been doing work on it since 2005 and using funds from its budget but much more work is needed.

Higgins said BOCES was looking into a clerk based on the board’s recommendation. He explained that, with previous projects, it had used a clerk of the works successfully and would explore the option.

“Given those factors it was our goal to manage the project effectively but do so with cost efficiency,” he said.

BOCES plans to use $900,000 from its capital fund to offset the $19 million cost, which then leaves districts paying more than $18 million.

BOCES would need a “yes” vote from all 18 districts to go ahead with the project. The Lakeland Central School District Board of Education recently voted to approve the project.

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