October 2023 Capital Project Vote

Phase 1 Work Anticipated to Begin Summer of 2024

As of November 2023, the district is in the process of submitting Capital Project scope and schedule plans to SED for approval with an anticipated start date in the summer of 2024. Below is the timelines and a list of projects slated to be included in Phase 1. (All plans are contingent upon SED approval.)

Construction Timeline

  • October-December 2023: Post-vote design phases through construction documents
  • Mid-December 2023 to Early April 2024: State Education Department (SED) Submission and Review
  • Early April-Early May 2024: Bidding Process
  • May 2024: Award Contracts
  • June – November 2024: Construction Work

Proposed Phase 1 Scope

O’Rourke Middle School Site and Roof Work: 

  • Create access road from bus loop to High Mills Road
  • Repave bus loop
  • Replace Kickball Wall
  • Clean up trees on property line and replace perimeter fencing
  • Replace identified areas of roofing

Charlton Heights Elementary School Site and Roof Work:

  • Remove microwave tower
  • Separate bus loop from car traffic by expanding parking in front
  • Repave side parking lot, address drainage concerns, replace/repair sidewalks
  • Clean up trees on property line and replace perimeter fencing
  • Replace identified areas of roofing

Pashley Elementary School Site and Roof Work:

  • Replace identified areas of roofing
  • Replace gym roof

Stevens Elementary School Site and Roof Work:

  • Replace identified areas of roofing
  • Replace gas house roof

BH-BL High School Site and Roof Work:

  • Replace cafeteria roof
  • Replace deck and roof in gas fault

BH-BL Community Checks ‘Yes’ Box for 2023 Capital Project

Residents came out today to cast their vote in support of the district’s $53.93 million “Renewing Spaces, Inspiring Futures” capital project resulting in 1,100 yes votes and 219 no votes, which yields a passage rate of 83 percent. This is the largest passing percentage in capital project vote history at BH-BL.

The next steps are to finalize the design and architectural plans and submit them to the State Education Department for approval.

The anticipated start date for some parts of this project is the summer of 2024. We will continue to update this page as the project progresses.

Renewing Spaces, Inspiring Futures: It Starts with K-5

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, residents will go to the polls to vote on the $53.93 million “Renewing Spaces, Inspiring Futures: It Starts with K-5” capital project. The project carries an overall estimated tax rate increase between 2.44 and 3.41% or, roughly a 0.5 to 0.7% annual tax rate increase over a five year period. (The estimated average tax increase is contingent upon the sale of property on Jenkins Road and a final determination by the State Education Department on the aidability of the classroom addition at Pashley Elementary School.)

Additionally, the district will maximize the New York state building aid that is available for the maintenance of school facilities. BH-BL is slated to be reimbursed 76% of eligible expenses bringing the local share of the proposed $53.93 million project down to $12.94 million. Given that, the district estimates this project would result in a $125-175 total tax increase to a property in the district with a median market value of $275,000, which would likely be phased in at $25-35 per year over five years.

A History of Excellence

The most recent referendums, approved by voters 5 and 10 years ago, were centered around projects needed to bring BH-BL’s secondary schools into the 21st century. The upcoming proposal is concentrated primarily on upgrading and modernizing the elementary schools and districtwide critical infrastructure repairs (i.e., roofing and HVAC repairs, new bathrooms, bus loops, etc.). The project also includes a full renovation of the high school gymnasium. Other smaller projects include athletic and physical education spaces and field upgrades, and additional classroom renovations at both the middle and high schools.

“More than 100 years ago, the BH-BL School District was created from our residents’ desire to provide an opportunity for their children to receive a high-quality education in their own community,” says Superintendent Dr. Patrick McGrath. “Community pride and continued support have sustained this effort, helping it to grow and flourish from one-room schoolhouses to a place people seek to live specifically for the schools. Our community’s desire to keep our district up to date was evident with the passage of the last two improvement projects, and now it’s time to focus on the spaces where our newest learners begin their academic journey.”

What am I voting on?

  • Elementary Schools Redesign to Support Learning: Fully renovate and redesign numerous old and worn down classrooms; build a four-classroom addition at Pashley and renovate the facade; replace old windows, doors, fixtures, and furniture. [Click here for details and photos.]

  • Instructional Innovations Improvements: Fully renovate O’Rourke’s FACS classrooms, Special Education suite, and several other old spaces; upgrade the oldest high school science labs. [Click here for details and photos.]
  • Critical Infrastructure Upgrades for Efficiency: Renovate the oldest bathrooms districtwide; exterior site work at elementary schools; build new bus exit at O’Rourke; replace HVAC systems districtwide; repair roofing on all district buildings; upgrade IT server center; replace perimeter fencing at all five schools. [Click here for details and photos.]
  • Physical Education Spaces & Athletic Field Improvements: Fully renovate high school gym; upgrade O’Rourke gyms; install new dividing gym walls at the elementary schools; install an all-weather, multi-purpose field at the high school; upgrades to softball field. [Click here for details and photos.]

A detailed budget newsletter will be mailed to residents in early October. [Download a copy of the newsletter.]

To learn more about this project and ask in-person questions, please attend the Oct. 11 Capital Project public forum at 6:30 pm at the high school [Click here for the live stream] or attend one of these other event:

  • October 2: BH-BL High School PTSA, 7 pm, Principal’s Conference Room
  • October 5: Stevens Elementary School PTA, 6:30 pm, Library
  • October 12: Pashley Elementary School PTA Meeting Presentation & Building Tour, 6 pm, Cafeteria
  • October 16: O’Rourke Middle School PTA Meeting & Building Tour, 6:30 pm, Library
  • October 17:  SEPTA, 6:30 pm, Pashley
  • October 19: Charlton Heights Elementary School PTA Mtg & Building Tour, 7 pm