Facilities Improvements

Preparing students for their future, not our past

picture of kids

BKW needs to capitalize on favorable financial conditions to provide better facilities for our students, says Superintendent Dr. Timothy Mundell.

On Thursday, Nov. 2, the BKW community will decide the future of the district when they vote on a proposed $19.8 million in renovations and improvements to its school buildings.

BKW will put two proposals before the community on November 2:

  • Proposition #1 – $14.8 million in repair and modernization work primarily in the Elementary School.
  • Proposition #2 – Approximately $5 million in improvements to the Secondary School, focusing on technology infrastructure, security and site enhancements around the district. This proposition would be contingent on the passage of the $14.8 million proposal.

Read a newsletter on the proposed capital project here.

BKW is seeking voter approval for $19.8 million in repair, improvement, and replacement of aging systems in our schools, like this 50-year-old boiler.

It is important to note that Proposition 2 is contingent on the passage of Proposition 1, meaning voters cannot approve the $5 million in repairs to the secondary school without approving the $14.8 million in repair and replacement at the elementary school.

If both capital project propositions pass on Nov. 2 the average BKW taxpayer would see an increase of only $1 a month for the first 64 months of the loan, according to the district’s fiscal advisors. After the first five years and four months of the loan, school taxes would return to current levels.

“We want to make sure that we use this opportunity not just to maintain our buildings, but also to support our vision for BKW’s students,” said Superintendent Dr. Timothy Mundell.

Voting will take place in the secondary school auditorium from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2.

The proposed work includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Elementary School

  • Reconstruct West Wing Lower Level (K-1)
  • Reconstruct West Wing Upper Level (2-3)*
  • Reconstruct Main Building Basement-
  • Reconstruct East Wing First Floor (4th)
  • Reconstruct Main Building Second Floor (6th)***
  • Reconstruct East Wing Second Floor (5th)
  • Cafeteria Upgrades for Multi-Purpose and Community Programming
  • Agricultural STEM Lab Upgrades

Secondary School

  • Upgrades to technology infrastructure and wifi
  • Security upgrades
  • Improved entryway/lobby
  • Asbestos removal
  • Modernize instructional space
  • Distance Learning Space
  • Cafeteria Upgrades

If both capital project propositions pass on Nov. 2 the average BKW taxpayer would see an increase of only $1 a month for the first 64 months of the loan, according to the district’s fiscal advisors. After the first five years and four months of the loan, school taxes would return to current levels.

Voting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 2, in the secondary school auditorium, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Here’s how the propositions will appear on the ballot:

PROPOSITION #1

Shall the Board of Education of the Berne-Knox Westerlo Central School District be authorized to: (1) reconstruct various District buildings and facilities, including site work, and acquire original furnishings, equipment, machinery or apparatus required for the purpose for which such buildings and facilities are to be used, at a maximum aggregate cost of $14,800,000.; (2) expend such sum for such purposes; (3) expend $2,000,000. from the Capital Reserve Fund; (4) levy the necessary tax therefore, to be levied and collected in annual installments in such years and in such amounts as may be determined by the Board of Education, taking into account state aid and the amount expended from the Capital Reserve Fund; and (5) in anticipation of the collection of such tax, issue bonds and notes of the District at one time or from time to time in the principal amount not to exceed $12,800,000. and levy a tax to pay interest on said obligations when due?

PROPOSITION #2

If Proposition #1 is approved by the voters, shall the Board of Education of the Berne-Knox Westerlo Central School District be authorized to: (1) perform additional reconstruction work primarily at the High School and at other various District buildings and facilities, including site work, and acquire original furnishings, equipment, machinery or apparatus required for the purpose for which such buildings and facilities are to be used, at a maximum aggregate cost of $5,000,000.; (2) expend such sum for such purposes; (3) levy the necessary tax therefore, to be levied and collected in annual installments in such years and in such amounts as may be determined by the Board of Education, taking into account state aid; and (4) in anticipation of the collection of such tax, issue bonds and notes of the District at one time or from time to time in the principal amount not to exceed $5,000,000. and levy a tax to pay interest on said obligations when due?

Remember: Proposition #2 CANNOT be passed on its own, and will only pass if voters also approve Proposition #1.

“We encourage everyone to vote on Thursday, Nov. 2,” said Mundell. “What we’re considering is nothing less than the future of this school, its students, and our community.”