Education, Lead Stories

School bond fails by narrow vote in Rye Neck

On Oct. 6, voters of the Rye Neck school district narrowly rejected a $35.5 million bond for districtwide construction. The final tally was 263 in favor of the bond proposal to 280 votes against it, according to Veronica Sessler, the district clerk. “I was a little surprised by the outcome,” said April Tunno, president of the PTSA’s Executive Committee. “I knew it would be close, and that it was a lot of money, but I ultimately thought that residents would vote in favor of the bond.”

Voters in the Rye Neck Union Free School District rejected a bond that would have included $35.5 million in improvements to schools districtwide. File photo
Voters in the Rye Neck Union Free School District rejected a bond that would have included $35.5 million in improvements to schools districtwide. File photo

The $35.5 million borrowing plan would have tackled districtwide roof replacement and repairs, with a total of $6 million specifically allocated to replacing roofs at the Daniel Warren and F.E. Bellows elementary schools, and the joint Rye Neck Middle School and High School facility. The middle school and high school would have also received new equipment and furnishings, renovation work to convert science rooms into classrooms, eight general classroom expansions, and upgraded seating in the auditorium for a total cost of $13.9 million. Reconstruction plans would have also included a number of improvements to the school’s gymnasium, including a new set of bleachers and lighting upgrades. Additional renovations would have taken place in Daniel Warren’s main offices, library and nurse’s office, as well as updated equipment and furnishings, and two new additional classrooms for a cost of $3.6 million. The F.E. Bellows School would have received an estimated $6.1 million in improvements toward the library, cafeteria and the expansion of four classrooms, as well as renovations to the cafeteria’s kitchen, updated equipment and furnishings, and new lighting and plumbing systems. For residents in the town of Rye, with a home assessed at the average value of $700,000, the school district would have borrowed a starting amount of $42 dollars a year in 2017-18, increasing to an additional $462 dollars by 2020-21, and decreasing to $352 a year by 2022-23. For residents in the city of Rye, with a home assessed at the average value of $1.6 million, the school district would have borrowed a starting amount of $96 dollars a year in 2017-18, increasing to an additional $1,056 by 2020-21, and decreasing to $800 a year by 2022-23. The school district was expected to receive 13.6 percent, nearly $5 million, in state aid toward the overall project work.

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