A letter from Superintendent Joseph Corr:
On Dec. 15, voters in North Colonie will decide on a $196.4 million dollar capital project, which will include addition and renovation work throughout the district, with security updates for all eight school buildings, K-12. In North Colonie, we teach students about the importance of community and the value of participating in our democracy. I encourage you to make the time to vote this Thursday.
As Thursday’s vote draws closer, it is important that I thank everyone who attended presentations and workshops since December 2015. The feedback and ideas that were provided were essential to the development of this proposal, and a reflection of the hard work and dedication that led us to this point. I recognize this is a big decision for our community and I do not minimize the impact on our taxpayers. However, I do believe the project will address increasing enrollment and the need to bring our facilities in line with the needs of the next generation of learners. It will also allow us to capture the enhanced state aid from the Maplewood annexation, and significantly decrease the local tax impact by doing so.
Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Goodrich Building (district office), located at 91 Fiddlers Ln. in Latham. District administrators were advised in October by school attorneys that all voting must take place at one site, since the school district does not have personal registration of voters. Education Law 2017 permits a school district to divide into election districts if personal registration exists. However, since this is not the case in North Colonie and in order to uphold the law, all voting for the December 15 capital project must take place at Goodrich.
The driving force behind the capital project is the district’s tremendous growth in enrollment. Enrollment has grown by four percent since September 2014. Here is a look at the data:
- September 2014: 5,346 students
- Current enrollment: 5,549 students
- 2025 projections: 6,450 students
The district currently has very little capacity for more classrooms, and right now, elementary class sizes range from 23-30 students. Ideally, the district would like to keep class sizes to no more than 25 students. Smaller class sizes allow for more individualized instruction, more opportunities to engage in project-based learning, and better opportunities to meet the social and emotional needs of all students. In addition, the proposed physical changes to school buildings will bring the district’s educational program delivery to an even higher standard and offer more opportunities to the next generation. To this day, more and more families are choosing North Colonie as a place to call home and educate their children, making now the right time to embark on this project.
Please take the time to vote on Thursday, December 15 at Goodrich. Thank you for your willingness to participate.
D. Joseph Corr