A new sports field and over $19M in changes up for a vote next week at Queensbury schools

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The proposed new sports field at Queensbury Union Free School District. (Photo: QUFSD}

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Next Tuesday, Dec. 14, Queensbury Union Free School District is asking its resident families and community members to put a $19.75 million step in the school’s future to a public vote. That money would mean a new turf field, replacements made to an aging pool, and more for students across the district’s four school buildings.

Queensbury’s school capital project is up for a vote next week, and there’s plenty to know in advance. One important factor: If approved, the plan would come at no tax increase to Queensbury residents.

“We believe our community deserves top-quality facilities,” said Queensbury Superintendent Kyle Gannon, in a school newsletter laying the capital project out in detail. “If approved, this project would benefit every student, staff member, caregiver and community member who walks through our doors and on our campus. We’re proud to present an investment in our infrastructure that includes standard maintenance work, as well as facility updates, with no tax increase for our community members.”

Several improvements focus on Queensbury Elementary School. A large portion of the building’s roof has remained since 1997, with deteriorated fascia board in need of replacement with something more modern. Aging panels have led to leaks. Panels on the outside of the buildings are streaked with age, and would be replaced as well.

But that’s not the only problem roof. William H. Barton Intermediate School has roofing that needs to be replaced as well; there, it was built in 1998. Queensbury Middle School’s is older – 1992 – and in less immediate need, but the hope is to replace that roof anyway. The reason: All three roofs are over 20 years old, which is the limit on the warranty they were given when installed.

Signs of age on roofing at Queensbury Elementary School. (Photo: QUFSD)

Another big job ahead at the elementary school is the pool, where the age is visible in some places. Ceramic tile would be replaced, as would the pool’s chemical feed heat exchanger systems. Streaks of water damage on the deck overlay and along the starting line by diving boards also have to be changed. None of those issues are affecting pool use.

At William H. Barton, there’s more to do, too. Boilers need to be replaced, as does playground equipment. The district has provided a digital model of what a new playground could look like.

Left: The current playground at William H. Barton Intermediate School in Queensbury, N.Y. Right: A proposed new playground. (Photos: QUFSD)

Also on the docket is a new athletic field made of synthetic turf. In the newsletter on the capital project, the district says that outdoor learning spaces have seen an uptick in use over the last year, weather permitting. A new field would allow the whole district to encourage that trend, as well as provide new spaces for football, soccer, lacrosse, cheerleading and more.

The proposed new sports field at Queensbury Union Free School District. (Photo: QUFSD}

And for those worried about footing the bill, the promise is echoed by the district again at the end of the document: Taxes will not go up if the project is approved. New York State aid adds up to 72% of the $19.75 million budget, and the districts can handle the rest.

The timeline starts on Dec. 14; voting day. From there, construction would start in summer 2022, including all of the roof work and a variety of classroom renovations, including upgrades to science classrooms. Phase 2 would start in spring 2023, including the sports field, pool upgrades and a boiler replacement.

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