EXPLANATORY TEXT CONCERNING PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF TWO NEW SCHOOLS
On March 21, 2017, the Town of South Windsor will conduct a referendum concerning the question set forth below.
Pursuant to the Town Council's authorization of February 6, 2017, this explanatory text describes the proposed appropriation and bond authorization for the construction of two new elementary schools.
Studies commissioned by the South Windsor Board of Education in 2007 and 2013 concluded that all of the Town's elementary schools required upgrades to their mechanical systems for purposes of complying with building and fire codes and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In October 2013, the Board of Education adopted the Elementary Facilities Ten-Year Master Plan (the "Plan") to address the condition of the elementary school buildings. The proposed project is Phase Two of the Plan and calls for the construction of two new elementary schools, consisting of an approximately 66,586 square foot elementary school to be built on the Eli Terry campus and an approximately 58,243 square foot elementary school to be built on the Philip R. Smith campus. The proposed schools will feature expanded classroom technology, designs intended to increase school safety and security, and modern mechanical systems, including more efficient heating and cooling systems. The proposed schools will comply with all building and fire codes as well as the accessibility requirements of the ADA.
It is estimated that construction for both proposed schools would begin in the spring of 2019 and be completed in the summer of 2020. The original Eli Terry school building would be razed to allow for construction of playgrounds and replacement ball fields. Eli Terry students would remain in the original Eli Terry building while their new school was being built, and it is estimated that they would move to their new school in August 2020. It is proposed that the original Philip R. Smith building be razed prior to construction of the new school and that the Philip R. Smith students be temporarily relocated to the original Orchard Hill Elementary School Building, which will serve as "swing space" while their new school is being built. It is estimated that the Philip R. Smith students would return to their new school in August of 2020. According to the Plan, the current Orchard Hill facility will also serve as "swing space" while the Pleasant Valley School building undergoes proposed construction, should such construction be approved at future referenda. At the close of the Plan, the Board of Education will turn over the Orchard Hill Elementary School to the Town of South Windsor.
Of the total cost for the proposed project, it is expected that an estimated $23,000,000 will be reimbursed by the State of Connecticut. Accordingly, the net cost to the Town of South Windsor for the two new schools is estimated to be approximately $46,900,000