Capital project

$1.7M capital project would make needed repairs with no tax impact

While at the polls on Tuesday, May 21, Roscoe Central School District voters approved a $1.7 million capital project, 224-72, that includes projects that address health, safety and environmental concerns and carries no additional financial burden on taxpayers.

The capital project will be funded through $725,000 in capital reserve funds and $975,000 in serial bonds. The state will reimburse allowable costs through building aid at 51.9%. The district has debt that will be retiring in the next two years that this project will replace. Because the debt load would then remain about the same, residents will not experience a tax increase from this project.

“The debt service carried by the district is a factor in determining the district’s tax levy limit,” School Business Official Jeffrey Froehlich said. “If debt service drops off, it will have a negative impact on the district’s calculated tax levy in the future.”

The administration and board of education have compiled a list of potential projects that could be completed. Most were identified in the district’s last building condition survey completed five years ago and some items have been discovered since the survey was completed.

The potential projects include:

  • Cafeteria renovations. This work will include asbestos abatement in the floor, a build out of walls to cover asbestos containing paint on the block walls behind the current wall system, and the replacement of the vinyl asbestos flooring. Asbestos containing materials are safe if they are undisturbed, but to ensure safety, removal or complete coverage of any asbestos materials is recommended. The stage in the cafeteria would also be removed, with the concrete flooring below it being brought to the level of the current cafeteria space. The project would also replace old interior heating units with a rooftop unit and ducting. 

  • Gym door replacement. Three sets of exterior doors in the gymnasium are difficult to close. Replacement would improve safety in the building. 

  • Ceramic tile flooring replacement. Ceramic tiles in the cafeteria wing access ramp, the central corridor ramp connector and the primary wing access ramp have cracked from years of use. If not fixed, the flooring could result in a tripping hazard. 

  • Vinyl asbestos tile (VAT) flooring abatement and replacement. VAT flooring remains in the primary wing coorider, primary rooms 5 and 6 and Room 210. Removing VAT flooring will help ensure future safety from asbestos in those rooms.

  • Exterior sidewalk replacement. The sidewalks and paths leading to the primary wing of the building are uneven and are degrading. New sidewalks would improve safety in those areas.

  • Sink replacement in the Family and Consumer Science classroom. The sink is original to the building he total project cost would not exceed the $1.7 million on the ballot.. It is difficult, if not impossible, to get replacement parts.

  • A/C Units in Server and Distance Learning replacement. These units are not working efficiently and replacement would allow for reliable efficient cooling of these areas. 

It is unlikely all of the above projects would be completed through this proposal. The district will determine the final project scope after bids on all items are received.

What is a Capital Improvement Project?

Just like a home, school facilities need regular attention and upkeep to continue to operate year after year as originally intended. The cost of keeping up with the daily wear and tear caused by hundreds of students, staff and visitors can rise above and beyond what the annual school budget can support. Capital improvement projects are a way for school districts to complete a larger amount of facilities work sooner than otherwise possible within the scope of the annual school budget.

How can a Capital Improvement Project reduce the impact to taxpayers?

Leveraging state aid

Principal and interest costs for eligible capital improvement projects are reimbursed by the state at state-calculated rates that vary by district. In Roscoe, that rate is 51.9%. State building aid allows a district to get more work done faster and with the support of a broader, state-wide tax base. This reduces, or in some cases eliminates, the cost for local taxpayers.

Making strategic debt payments

Districts can sometimes reduce or eliminate the additional local tax impact of a capital improvement project by taking on new debt—through bond financing—as old debt is retired. Because debt from past projects will be retiring over the next two years, Roscoe is able to present a project proposal that includes no tax impact.

Sticking with the plan

Districts cannot spend above the amount voters approve during the capital project vote. If costs begin to exceed those estimated once work begins, the scope of the project must be reduced accordingly.

What happens if the proposition didn’t pass?

If the capital project was rejected, the district would have been left with an aging building that is difficult to update. To use what is in the capital reserve fund, even without an additional bond, the district would need to put forth another referendum, which would delay repairs. Emergency repairs often cost more, and the less efficient and less reliable HVAC units would continue to be used. If the district doesn’t continue to carry debt, the tax cap calculation would be impacted in the future, lowering the allowable money to be raised within the tax levy limit.

Important dates

May 7, 4:30 p.m.: Community forum, RCS cafeteria

May 21, noon-8 p.m.: Vote, RCS new gym

Project breakdown

Each project bulleted below would go out as a separate project bid. If the capital project proposal is approved, which projects would be completed will be determined after bids are received. 

  • Cafeteria renovations, including addition of rooftop heating unit. 

  • Gym exterior doors, three sets.

  • Primary wing corridor flooring abatement and replacement

  • Primary rooms 5 and 6 flooring abatement and replacement

  • Room 210 flooring abatement and replacement

  • Exterior sidewalk replacements

  • Sink replacement in FACS classroom

  • A/C unit replacement in server and distance learning rooms

  • Ceramic tile access ramp flooring replacement in primary wing, cafeteria wing and central corridor


Vat Flooring

VAT flooring

aged cooling equipment

Aged cooling equipment

Cafeteria stage area

Cafeteria Stage Area



Ceramic tile

Ceramic tile flooring

Primary entrance stairs

Primary entrance stairs

Asphalt sidewalk

Asphalt sidewalk

Concrete sidewalk

Concrete sidewalk