by Tom Walogorsky
As students and faculty are enjoying the summer vacation, the Pawling Central School District has been hard at work. The entrances to the High School and Middle School are in the midst of a repaving project that will give the facilities an infrastructure upgrade before the start of the new school year.
The roadway project was conceived by the Board of Education in conjunction with the architecture and design firm Tetra Tech in 2016. In February, the New York State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning approved the plans, and the district began accepting bids.
Construction crews have been active since the beginning of July, stripping and repaving Wagner Drive. Crews are also refinishing the roads that connect the two school buildings and provide access to the district’s transportation department. The project will include improved parking across the campus.
These improvements to the High School/Middle School campus were financed through the district’s Capital Reserve Fund. This fund, approved by the voters during the May budget vote, places surplus money from the General Fund at the discretion of the School Board. The Capital Reserve Fund is used for projects to improve district facilities without the need for additional taxes.
In an additional cost cutting measure, the Board of Education entered into an inter-municipal agreement with the town and village of Pawling, whereby the town and village agree to remove the road millings – old asphalt surfacing – from the paving project at the campus, eliminating the need to hire outside contractors to transport the materials. This is beneficial to both entities, as the millings can be used for future paving and maintenance of Pawling roads. “These agreements are a very positive result of our regular communication,” says Board President Colleen Snow. “I want to thank Supervisor Kelly and Mayor Liffland for their willingness to partner with us in the interest of Pawling taxpayers.”
The project is expected to be finished in August and is the first example of the positive impact that the Capital Reserve Fund will have on the school district. With construction steadily moving forward, Pawling schools can expect a smooth road heading into the new school year.