Board will lead review of Meagher renovation
The Board of Education will lead the environmental review of planned renovations to the former Frank L. Meagher Elementary School building if the district decides to use the site for prekindergarten classes and/or administrative offices.
At a board meeting Wednesday, district officials said the envisioned work does not require extensive studies before putting the proposal before voters.
An assessment of the project concludes “there’s minimal to no impact, and the review can be very minor,” Superintendent Paul Padalino said.
The school board is reviewing proposed cost of using the Meagher building for pre-K classes and/ or district offices. Construction costs are estimated at $4.2 million if the building is used for both and $3.4 million for just offices.
If the $4.2 million project is chosen, the district would fund the project with $527,198 in state aid; $1 million from the anticipated sale of the Cioni Building in Uptown Kingston, where the administrative offices currently are housed; and $2.68 million from a capital reserve account.
The district alternatively could use $882,578 from state Smart Schools bond act money and $2.3 million from the reserve account, but that would rule out eligibility for state aid.
If the work is limited to administrative offices, the district would use the estimated $1 million proceed from the Cioni sale and $2.3 million from the capital reserve account.
Board member Danielle Guido said she was “encouraged that this means that we will be renovating the classrooms,” but she added that they “don’t
necessarily need to be used for pre-K . ... We could use them for alternative options . ... Because we’re using our own money to fund pre-K, we would be able to target populations.”
Trustee Suzanne Jordan said administrators are identifying specific needs that could be addressed with additional classrooms.
“One of the comments that was made tonight ... [was] that we should try to have a bilingual class, as well as going after the kids who [qualify for] free and reduced lunch,” she said.
Under the plan to develop space for students, there would be four classrooms, two playrooms and a story area for up to 76 students.
Meagher Elementary School, at 21 Wynkoop Place in Midtown Kingston, last was used for classes in June 2012. It measures 31,600 square feet and stands on a 3.6-acre property. The building was opened in 1874 and had additions put on in 1917, 1961 and 1996.