Briarcliff Manor school officials are studying more than $9 million in capital projects recommended by an ad hoc, 50-member-plus community committee.
The committee’s wide-ranging list of proposed projects and solutions—defined over just 65 days of intensive effort by five citizen subcommittees—was presented to the school board late last month (see attached .pdf).
“We wanted to focus on high-student-impact projects,” Dina Brantman, co-chair of the full committee with Jamie Sabatier, said in presenting the findings and recommendations Feb. 27. , the committee adopted its finished plan Feb. 15.
"The committee members who chose to attend the final meeting—the 15th—voted overwhelmingly to approve the plan we are presenting," she said.
That plan calls for $9,447,783 in expenditures in four specific areas, each guided by a subcommittee:
- Energy, exploring such things as indoor and outdoor lighting upgrades;
- Instructional/technology, recommending not only equipment needs but a synchronizing of technology with curriculum goals;
- Instruction and infrastructure, with special attention paid to the recommendations of each building’s principal; and,
- Site improvement, examining, among other things, the district’s athletic fields and playgrounds.
A fifth subcommittee, Finance, drafted recommendations to pay for the work, specifically suggesting that the district issue a 15-year, tax-exempt bond in the amount of $9,950,000.
At , Principal Nadine McDermott suggested a student-centered tile project.
“They would be mounted all around the school,” Brantman said, and promote curriculum integration, school pride and beautification.
At the , Principal Susan Howard urged creation of an Exploring Music Lab.
“If you don’t play an instrument,” Brantman explained to the board in her presentation, “you have to take Exploring Music. And this new Exploring Music Lab really enhances the curriculum.” Noting the modest list of improvements being called for, Brantman said, “The middle school, as you can see, doesn’t need as much because it is the newest building.”
At the , Principal James Kaishian “came up with the idea of a new high school multipurpose science room to meet the growing needs of our students."
Brantman said that except for a holiday break, the committee met every week, with subcommittees holding additional meetings and teleconferences to accomplish their work on the tight schedule.
“We asked for information from our administration," Brantman said. "And where that information didn’t exist, we asked for it to be created.”
She said her panel “met with the administration in multiple meetings to refine the needs and to construct solutions to the problems.”
Seeing advantages beyond the academic world, Brantman said, “Not only does the plan we’re presenting positively impact our students but it’s also of great benefit to our community.”