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TI Central pushes back capital project vote

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CLAYTON — The Thousand Islands Central school board has decided to push back the public vote on the capital project to this fall.

Instead of rushing to put the $4.7 million project on the May ballot, district officials determined it would be better to take more time to inform residents about what they would be paying for and why the improvements are needed.

District Superintendent Frank C. House said the vote could take place in October or November. However, officials still believe the project could start next summer if voters approve it this fall.

Among other upgrades, the multimillion-dollar project is designed to improve safety and security at the district’s three school buildings: Cape Vincent and Clayton elementary schools and the middle/high school building.

Security cameras would be installed throughout the buildings and intercoms would be installed at entrances to control public access and to make sure staff is aware of the identity and purpose of all visitors.

Every building would have a single entrance for the public, allowing for emergency lockdown to keep out unwanted visitors.

Additionally, district officials hope to install 50-kilowatt solar panels at all three buildings and propane boilers to cut back on energy costs.

General infrastructure upgrades and maintenance work would be conducted as well.

At the middle/high school building, district officials want to replace the auditorium’s lighting and stage sound system and install a wood pellet boiler to further reduce heating costs.

Other work would include upgrading the high school athletic field and lighting for the parking lot; installing an irrigation system for the athletic field; repainting the high school’s blue, metal sidings; replacing the old phone system with VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) and more.

Approximately 65 percent of the project’s total cost should be covered through state building aid and the remaining 35 percent — or roughly $1.6 million — would be borne by taxpayers. The district plans to take out $396,136 from its capital savings account and apply it toward the project as well.

Mr. House said the district will hold informational meetings this summer to make sure residents understand the scope and intentions of the project.

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