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Mar 7, 2018 7:21 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Springs School District Residents Vote Yes On Expansion Project

Members of the Springs School Board celebrate after the long-planned expansion project was approved by voters on Tuesday night. JON WINKLER
Mar 7, 2018 7:24 AM

Springs School District residents on Tuesday approved a $22.96 million expansion of the Springs School, 484 to 323.

“The community was heard,” Superintendent Debra Winter said after the votes were counted in the school library on Tuesday night. “I’m glad to see so many people came out to vote and voice their opinion.”

With the approval, the district can now move forward to bond for more than $16 million and use a capital reserve fund of more than $6 million to pay for the more than 23,000-square-foot expansion to the main building. Designed by the BBS Architects, the addition will include seven new classrooms, a new gymnasium, a new nitrogen-reducing septic system, new roofing and renovations to existing classrooms, among other improvements. The money would also cover repairs to the current building’s infrastructure, including the parking lot.

The Springs School Board had been pushing for the expansion in part because of an overflow of students and staff in the current school building and projections that enrollment could continue to rise in the coming years. Opponents of the expansion cited other projections that enrollment would level off or even drop by the time the construction is completed.

On Tuesday night members of the Springs School Board cheered at the announcement of the results, with Principal Eric Casale saying he felt “elated.”

“It’s just so emotional because this has been going on for so long,” said School Board President Barbara Dayton the night of the vote. “I’m so grateful that I live in a community like this where people realize that even though it might be tough, they can do the right thing for these kids here,”

If the bond had not been approved Tuesday night, the board planned to ask the public to approve using the $6 million capital reserve fund to pay for a new roof, a new septic system and upgrades to windows and doors, which officials pointed out would not solve the school’s overcrowding problem.

The estimated property tax increase for a home with a market value of $600,000 would be $162.93 per year, officials have said.

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Muchas gracias.
By Preliator Lives (324), Obamavillie on Mar 7, 18 6:33 AM
$23m for an expansion of a school district whose enrollment is declining year after year? How does that make sense?
By even flow (803), East Hampton on Mar 7, 18 8:07 AM
In 2015-2016 enrollment was 713 and last year year it was 727.
Mar 7, 18 8:17 AM appended by Fore1gnBornHBgrown
And has risen year after year since 2013-2014, as far as I can tell.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4722), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 7, 18 8:17 AM
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