Capital Improvements

The Wantagh School District is currently developing a plan to enhance school district facilities through a series of significant infrastructure and facility improvement projects. The administrative team has worked with a Capital Improvement Committee to identify critical projects that the district needs to complete within the next five years. These projects will be funded through several funding sources which include a bond referendum, capital reserve fund and district budget.

This page contains all information related to capital projects and will be updated as information becomes available. 

 

 

PROCESS

All capital projects, regardless of funding source, go through a similar process from inception to construction and closeout. A critical step in the process is community approval, via a referendum, in order for capital projects to take place. Below is a sample of the various steps surrounding capital projects. This process can take anywhere from 4 to 24 months, mostly depending on the length of time the permitting process takes. 

  1. Architect, Construction Manager & District begin preliminary work.

  2. Solicit input from stakeholders (e.g. committee meetings).

  3. Committee sends recommendations to Board of Education.

  4. State Environmental Quality Review must be completed. 

  5. Board of Education finalizes projects for inclusion in referendum and Board of Education adopts resolutions establishing referendum date and scope of projects.

  6. Community meetings describing the projects and financing.

  7. Legal requirement to advertise the referendum.

  8. Referendum.

  9. After referendum approval, the Architect completes and files Plans and Specifications for building improvements with NYS Education Department (SED).

  10. Receipt of Approval of Plans and Specifications from SED.

  11. Project construction bid forms/packages are distributed to contractors.

  12. Construction bids are received and reviewed, and contracts are awarded.

  13. Project construction commences.

PLANNING

Beginning in July 2017, the District embarked on a process to design and develop a five year Strategic Plan for the District. One result of the 2019-2024 Strategic Plan was the need to focus on capital improvements districtwide. By July of 2019, a Capital Improvement Committee was formed to begin this process. Unfortunately, the committee work never commenced due to COVID. In October 2021, the Committee reconvened. 

After completing its work, the Committee compiled a report which was submitted to the Board of Education for consideration. 

Wantagh UFSD Capital Improvement Committee Report to the Board of Education

At its meeting on April 26, 2022, the Board of Education had its first opportunity to review the committee report and discuss its contents along with input from the district's architect and construction manager. 

April 26, 2022 Presentation

 

FINANCING

School districts have a few options available when it comes to financing capital improvements. The most common are to borrow funds, save and expend from a capital reserve, or the budget. The Board of Education engages the services of a fiscal advisor and bond counsel who are experts in municipal finance transactions to guide them through the process. Dollars needed, debt service payments, state aid implications and estimated cost to district residents are among the items considered during this process. 

This Capital Project Funding Options document provides some relevant details for each funding method. 

As of April 28, 2022 these discussions have not taken place and will be arranged in the near future. 

Capital Reserve

Education Law allows a district to establish a capital reserve, fund it and expend funds from this reserve for capital projects. Both the establishment and expenditure of funds from a capital reserve require community approval. When a capital reserve is established it is required to include the following components: maximum amount of money to be deposited, source of the funding, length of time the reserve is permitted to be funded and types of projects the reserve will be used for. 

Wantagh has been using capital reserves since 2014. The first was completely funded and all funds expended and the second is still active. A summary of each is listed below. 

Capital Reserve #1 March 2014

Capital Reserve #2 May 2018