Sweeping Security Project Referendum Goes to Voters in March

District would bond for $4.8 million plan but the state will pay $1.9 million of the cost.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The Board of Education approved last week going out for a referendum in March to help finance a $4.8 million safety and security project.

The board approved the matter Jan. 9. The referendum will go out to residents March 11.

The district would bond for the entire cost but include in annual budgets the money it will receive from state grant to cover 40 percent of the project's cost, or about $1.9 million. The district would receive the money from the state as the projects are completed.

The remaining 60 percent, about $2.9 million, will be financed through the district’s budget. 

The bond would be paid back over a 15-year period at a 3.5 interest rate. It was slated to cost the average homeowner about $12 in taxes annually. The average home is valued at $228,800. 

The project, if the referendum, is approved, would not impact the 2014-15 budget.

The state did not approve a $300,000 plan to upgrade the chemistry lab at Wayne Valley High School.

A formal resolution outlining the projects and cost of the referendum will be presented to the Board next month.

Board President Laura Stiziano did not return messages seeking comment.

The district’s facilities department conducted an internal audit of the schools’ safety measures and recommended changes.

Safety and security upgrades will be done at every school. New photo identification cards, access terminals, and video and intercom systems would be installed at eight schools. The intercom systems at Schuyler-Colfax Middle School and Lafayette Elementary School are nearly 50 years old.

New surveillance systems, exterior and interior doors, and fire alarm systems would also be installed. Several elementary schools and two middle schools have no video surveillance capability, officials said previously.

Security vestibules and additional motion sensors would be installed in several buildings and main offices could be relocated. New bleachers at Wayne Valley will be installed as well.

“There were a lot of things my staff spotted and the only way to take care of them is with capital improvements or through the budget,” John Maso, the district’s facilities director previously said. “We do have a burglar alarm in each school but there is a need for more sensors.”

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Pad January 15, 2014 at 09:28 PM
So we are going to spend almost 5 million dollars on recommendations of the BOEs Facility manager and his staff? I would think the BOE would use a professional school security consultant and have a written documented report of what is really needed and what isn't. This to me seems like a huge project of Job Protection. Yes, I am sure some areas can be improved. But even in the most well protected building incidents can happen and what protects the children when they are outside of the building like when they are entering or exiting, outside for a fire drill, fire alarm or a bomb scare? The way things are in Wayne with homeowners and business's being forced out of Wayne due to high taxes here. This will never pass. Why don't they just cut spending and do this from the annual budget over several years instead of bonding and all at once? And I guarantee the average homeowner will end up paying more then $12 dollars a year. More smoke & mirror BS from Spender Gonzalez and the Wayne BOE!
Pad January 15, 2014 at 09:31 PM
New bleachers at Wayne Valley? What does that have to do with school security? Why is this in the security plan?
Bobtwo January 16, 2014 at 08:23 AM
Pad, good question Re: bleachers. Agree with other comments,
Bill January 16, 2014 at 08:23 AM
Need more than "I think this is what we will need". Is the state grant guaranteed? In concrete? Why was the chem lab grant denied? Many, many unanswered questions to be able to give the "yes" vote. Can't have a 'bridgegate" but a "schoolgate" is possible?
Pad January 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM
Is this really being put together by the BOEs Facility Supervisor and his team without input from a school security specialist? Who came up with this figure and who say's what really needs to be done and what doesn't. Why don't we make the schools into castles complete with a mote around the school, a drawbridge and guard towers complete with armed guards. What will protect these children outside on the school grounds, in front of the school whatever. Increasing entry security into the schools, an ID system is one thing but spending 5 million on this with no guarantee of 100% prevention of an incident happening is unbelievable and a waste of taxpayers money, which thanks to the BOE for the most part taxpayers don't have to give.
Real Truth January 17, 2014 at 09:19 AM
Should give training and a concealed carry permit to any one working at schools that wants to, training, background check and gun should cost about $1,500 per person or about $3,000 - $6,000 depending on size of school.
Pad January 17, 2014 at 06:40 PM
This is a plan drawn up by the facilities supervisor and his team. What makes his a school security expert? To me this is more about job protection for him and his pals.


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