MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Mahopac Board of Education OK'd a tax-neutral capital improvement plan at its meeting Thursday night (Feb. 28) and now voters will be asked to approve a $53.9 million bond that's needed to complete the project, which will bring upgrades to buildings and grounds districtwide.

School officials stressed if voters go to the polls on May 21 and approve the bond referendum, taxes will not increase as a result.

“The total bond proposal calls for an investment of $53,960,096 over the next few years,” said Harvey Sotland, assistant superintendent of business. “Having older debt being paid off this year creates an opportunity to undertake this capital project without any school tax impact.”

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Security and safety for district students is at the core of the capital improvement project, officials said. If approved by voters, the bond measure would:

• Create a campus-like setting with the middle school, high school and Mahopac Falls school that can be used by community members, as well as the student base.

• Improve safety and security with enhanced security vestibules and building access controls;

• Modernize learning environments, including science and engineering labs, music instruction/practice rooms and media centers;

• Upgrade HVAC, roofs and lighting to make them more efficient;

• Improve athletic facilities such as the multipurpose turf field and locker rooms;

• Build a new water-treatment plant that will serve the high school, middle school and Mahopac Falls School, as well as the transportation garage.

“We’re grateful for the Board of Education’s approval,” said School Superintendent Anthony DiCarlo. “This reflects the diligence that went into developing a tax-neutral capital project that provides strong and safe schools. It’s been quite some time since the district underwent a capital project and there are areas throughout the district that need updating.”

A diverse group of Mahopac community members created the capital improvement project plan based on a community survey, the district’s building-condition survey (a New York State Education Department five-year facility review requirement) and many discussions with teachers, staff, parents, students and community members.

Voter approval is necessary for all capital improvement projects in New York State. Once approved, final architectural plans will be completed and approved by the state Department of Education. The district then can request bids and award contacts for the scope of the work. The capital improvement project work gets underway based on a timeline set and monitored by the Board of Education. 

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