Capital Improvement Project 2022

How We Got Here

The capital project that district residents will vote on December 13, 2022 marks the culmination of a years-long, collaborative effort between Avon Central Schools, our planning team consisting of architecture, engineering, design, and construction management experts, and various district and community stakeholders to craft a proposal that, if approved by voters, will meet the needs of students and residents for decades to come.

The $23.89 million proposal addresses critical infrastructure and school security needs, revamps existing instructional spaces with an eye toward better enabling collaborative learning opportunities and improves our district’s athletic and fine arts facilities - all without any additional tax impact.

Planning Process

From the outset of this project, the district has strived to incorporate public input into its decision making.

Items identified in a New York State required Building Condition Survey provided foundational information from which to start. From there, the district set about collecting additional community input. Surveys and community and staff forums were conducted in 2018.

A comprehensive needs assessment conducted on the district’s behalf by Alla Breve Educational Consulting collected input from multiple stakeholder groups in a variety of ways.

A subsequent online survey of residents, teachers, students and recent graduates proved particularly informative. That survey, conducted in November and December 2021, drew responses from more than 130 people and helped the district identify priority items and shape the initial scope of the project.

Additional information was gleaned from ad hoc surveys over the last two years and collected through stakeholder meetings that were conducted to help determine the most impactful use of federal COVID relief funds.

Perspectives collected as part of a comprehensive needs assessment and voiced by members of our Facilities Committee also helped inform a set of values which have served as guiding principles that the district has kept at the forefront of its decision-making throughout this planning process. These principles center on:

  • Fostering innovation through dynamic environments that encourage personalized learning, social-emotional wellness, and cultural awareness.

  • Supporting the feeling that the Avon Schools are essential spaces for the community.

  • Efficiently and effectively utilizing resources (site, facility, financial) to modernize existing facilities in a sustainable way that not only addresses the critical maintenance items, but also promotes adaptability and advances the district’s goals.

  • Infusing the pride of the Avon Central School community through aesthetic branding and welcoming spaces that reflect the “Braves Way.”

Using these principles, our district’s Long Range Planning Team whittled down an initial, and much longer, list of ideas to those that are included in the final version of the proposed capital project that residents will vote on in December. In addition to shaping the final scope of the capital project, the work of our planning team also began to set the stage for future facilities studies and has laid the foundation for subsequent projects or in-house efforts that will continue to address the facilities needs of our schools in the future.

We feel our proposed capital project strikes a balance between the needs of our students and the financial realities of our district and residents and, if approved, will position our district as an integral part of the broader Avon community for years to come

Informational Meeting:

Thursday, December 8th, 2022
5:30 PM - MS Library

A Quick Look

What: Avon Central School District’s 2022 Capital Project Vote.
Where: Middle School Auditorium (191 Clinton Street).
When: Tuesday, Dec. 13th from 12:00 p.m. (noon) to 9:00 p.m.
Why: District residents will vote on whether to approve the district’s $23.89 million capital project proposal, which is expected to have no additional tax impact.
More info: Click HERE to view informational posters and artist renderings of capital project components in the Avon Elementary, Middle, and High School.

In this video, some of our District’s Administrators, Board of Education, and community members talk about why our 2022 Capital Project is important, what went into the planning process, what the project would entail in each of our three school buildings, and, more broadly, what passage would mean for Avon Central Schools, its students and members of the Avon community.

In the video above, Avon Superintendent Dr. Ryan Pacatte walks viewers through a presentation on the district’s proposed capital project. Pacatte goes over major aspects of the project, timelines and financial information, among other things.

Project Scope

The capital project prioritizes a number of infrastructure items identified as part of an existing Building Condition Survey (BCS). School districts in New York State are required to conduct a building condition survey on a regular basis. These studies are conducted in conjunction with district architects, facilities personnel, and construction management firms. They involve routine inspection and assessment of facilities’ indoor and outdoor infrastructure. The study is used to identify both critical maintenance items and to develop replacement and repair schedules that help to ensure safety, prevent damage, and avoid high cost emergency replacements to the extent practical. By working within the project guidelines, the scope of this project first addresses items of importance identified in the latest BCS.

The proposed capital project includes district-wide safety and security upgrades to interior doors, emergency exits, communications and lighting systems, the replacement of hallway fixtures and surfaces as well as critical infrastructure improvements like the replacement of the Middle and High School roof, select ventilation upgrades and the replacement of critical components of our heating and plumbing systems.

In the Elementary School, the project would include lighting and hallway upgrades, the addition of a multi-purpose STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math) Lab, a collaborative instruction classroom and a revamped Library Media Center. Additionally, more structured collaboration spaces will be incorporated in useful areas. Playgrounds will be addressed in a sequence of moves that will lead to new, age-appropriate play areas and equipment.

In the Middle School, a new entrance will be created for the gymnasium and auditorium to improve the experience of those attending sporting events and theatrical performances. This new foyer space will also include a collaborative learning area for use by instructional and extracurricular programs.

The project will also tackle the Middle School’s locker rooms, team rooms, and toilet facilities, which are dated and in critical need of updating to current building standards.

Transitioning from the Middle School to the High School, the corridor connecting the two buildings is an area of focus. The project calls for the replacement of the elevator which is near the end of its life. Both the elevator shaft and cart will be addressed. The corridor and spaces around this area will also be addressed. An intention of the project is to again work within our four guiding principles to further address spaces that may be shared or consolidated to improve efficiency.

Occupational education spaces and courses will be further revisioned and consolidated in proximity with related programs such as art and music. To the extent practical, courses offered in these subject areas will be accessed by all students in both the Middle and High School in a centralized location. Additionally, the project intends to consolidate and centralize services related to counseling, mental health, and career exploration. These are items articulated in our strategic planning efforts.

The development of an area designed for STEAM education is an important component of this design for students in both the Middle and High School. This innovative space will be addressed in phases with the work starting as part of this project. At the High School, a new entrance area will be incorporated. The area will include intentional design aspects that enable it to be used as both an outdoor learning space and flexible use entrance.

Paying for the Project

If approved, this capital project would have no additional impact on Avon’s school tax rate.

The vast majority of the project - about 88 percent of eligible project costs - would be paid for through building aid from New York State. The remaining amount will be covered by retiring existing debt payments along with $2.48 million of funds from one of the Building Capital Reserves. District voters approved the creation of this Building Capital Reserve in 2009 for the purpose of financing the local share of future capital projects. The use of these capital reserve funds must be approved by the voters. As of June 2022, the reserve has a balance of about $2.5 million. On December 13, the resolution residents will vote on would authorize the district to spend $2.48 million from this reserve for the capital project.

By applying the common financial strategy of using long range debt service planning to time each new capital project, the District is able to ensure less volatility in the budget planning process in addition to completing needed capital improvements at no additional tax impact. Holding the vote in December, instead of during the school budget vote and board of education elections in May, will allow the district to get a jumpstart on the planning and design process as well as leverage the financial advantage of replacing existing debt payments that are set to expire with payments from debt the district will take on to fund the proposed capital project as quickly as possible.

The district is aware of recent volatility in the rate of inflation and our construction management partners have taken steps to build a financial buffer into cost estimates for the proposed capital project.

Timeline

Should voters approve the proposal, the district’s architecture, engineering and construction partners would immediately come together to begin designing the actual elements of the project. This process would likely take about a year at which point the district would submit the final project design to the state’s Department of Education for review.

The state’s review process would likely last 3-5 months. Assuming the state grants project approval, the district would put the project to bid in spring 2024. Construction would start in summer 2024 and would be projected to conclude in early 2026.

Avon CSD Planning Process:

Planning Process

"Our work with Alla Breve will systematically engage all constituent groups in all phases. It will generate a strategic plan that will inform and focus our efforts to produce desired results by the end of the 2024-2025 academic year."

Superintendent of Schools - Ryan Pacatte, Ed.D.