Taxpayers Vote on Albany CSD Renovation, Building Purchase Proposals Today

A special vote is being held Tuesday on two projects in the Albany City School District. Jorja Roman has a breakdown of the projects.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Tuesday, residents will head back to the polls to vote on two proposals to renovate one school building and buy and re-utilize another, but the school district says the proposals will not increase taxes.

The Albany City School District says enrollment from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade has increased by 26 percent over the past eight years. School leaders say renovations and upgrades are needed for their growing student population.

The first proposal would allow the district to carry out $6.5 million in renovations to 50 North Lark Street, which will become a new middle school. Currently, it is the Alternative Learning Center. That will be paid for through state aid and the district’s Capital Reserve Fund.

West Hill Middle School is at 395 Elk Street and has been for the past two years through a lease. If the proposal is passed, they will buy that building through the Capital Reserve Fund and move the Alternative Learning Center there.

Some voters say they voted yes because they believe it's important that Albany students have the resources they need to succeed. Other voters say they are dissatisfied with when the vote is being held.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Young Wilkins hopes last-minute voters focus on the importance of these upgrades.

“We really want to make sure that the building is equitable to the other two middle schools that we have, and that these kids that will be going into that building have the very best opportunity for educational learning that we could possibly give,” said Wilkins.

If the two proposals are passed, both buildings would be ready for the 2017-2018 school year. Both proposals are being voted on Tuesday. Polls will stay open until 9 p.m.

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