Vote on PreK addition on December 3
On December 3, the community will vote on a proposed $4,464,709 capital project that would add five PreKindergarten classrooms to North Hornell School.
If approved by voters, the project will result in no tax increase for district residents. Funds from the New York State Smart Schools Bond Act will cover $2,039,972 of the estimated cost. Existing Capital Reserve Funds would cover the remaining cost of $2,424,737.
Although the district operates its PreK classrooms at North Hornell, current classrooms are undersized and inadequate for the district’s youngest learners. The PreK program was moved to North Hornell School last year to provide students with access to PE, art, music and library classes that they otherwise would not receive if they remained at Columbian School. In addition, PreK students become a part of the school community from the beginning and adjust to the routines. This move was made with a plan to create a unique space for PreK. This year, PreK enrollment is higher than it has been in prior years and the district will soon outgrow its current space, said Superintendent Jeremy Palotti.
“This addition also will provide opportunity for future flexibility within the district,” Palotti said.
Palotti added that while the district has existing space at Columbian School, it is currently fully leased to community agencies. This serves as a source of revenue for the district and provides a convenient, safe space for agencies to operate classrooms and provide services.
Project Q & A
How will this project be funded?
This project will be funded by leveraging state aid through the Smart Schools Bond Act, managing debt service and by utilizing the district’s existing capital reserve. This project will result in no additional tax impact for Hornell City School District residents.
Why did the Pre-K program move to North Hornell from the Columbian School?
We made the intentional decision to move the 4-year old pre-k program to North Hornell to allow the students to be integrated with kindergarten and first grade. They also now have access to music, physical education, the library and can eat in the cafeteria with the rest of the students. We see this from an instructional standpoint as the best-case scenario and the best program for our students to be a part of a regular elementary school, making their transition to kindergarten much smoother.
Isn’t there still space at the Columbian School?
The Columbian School currently is completely leased to Pathways, Proaction and GST BOCES. The district is fortunate that not only has the space been filled with an instructional use for our community partners but the district also receives revenue for the rented spaces.
Why is this project important?
Strong schools are at the foundation of every community and the district aims to have facilities that meet the community’s needs. This project is focusing on our youngest learners. It will give them the opportunity to have state-of-the-art classrooms built for the 21st century and put them on the best track possible for a great future at Hornell CSD.
Total Project Cost: $4,464,709
Smart Schools Bond Act Authorization: $2,039,972
Voter Authorization from Capital Reserve Fund: $2,424,737
The proposed project would have no tax impact.