MONTGOMERY — The Valley Central school board might put its failed $22.7 million bond proposition up for a second vote before the end of the year.
But if they do, it is likely this time it will be broken up into several propositions, with traffic and safety improvements comprising one of them.
Deputy Superintendent Michael Bellarosa said it was clear in a recent online thought exchange conducted by the district in the wake of the bond’s defeat that safety was a priority for residents. Bellarosa said many respondents indicated if those elements had been separated in the first vote, they would have supported them.
One of the anonymous exchange respondents who supported the safety improvements said the district “always tries to go too far by adding in more instead of keeping it simple.”
Bellarosa recommended that the bond be broken into two or three propositions for the second vote.
The defeated bond project called for a major redesign of the entrance/exit area in front of the high school/middle school complex on Route 17K, including new patterns for cars and buses that drop off and pick up students.
That proposal anticipated the state Department of Transportation’s plan to redesign Route 17K and install at least one traffic signal by the schools.
But the bond also included things like more Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) classroom space and a greenhouse at the high school, a dehumidification system for the swimming pool, and acquisition of property for additional parking.
The board took Bellarosa’s recommendation under advisement. They could make a decision after they receive some financial data at their next meeting on Wednesday. They’ve also asked for the architects who consulted on the bond projects to be at that meeting.
The earliest that a new vote could be scheduled would be mid-December. If voters approve this time, the district could break ground on the safety work next summer. The DOT expects to begin its work in November 2020.