• Join us for a Community Forum on the Project! September 27 at 6 PM. 

    OCTOBER 18, 2022


    The Highland Central School District has the unique opportunity to complete $16.9 million of facilities improvements without increasing the local tax levy. This is possible through a strategic financial approach that leverages State Aid, the timing of retiring debt, and funds that have been saved in the voter-approved capital reserve.

    The State is projected to reimburse almost 72 cents of every one dollar of aidable project costs. In addition, almost $1.9 million has been saved in the voter-approved Capital Reserve, which was established for the purpose of saving for projects such as this one. 

    After combining State Aid and the Capital Reserve, and aligning the project timeline with decreases in our debt payment schedule, Proposition 1 can be completed with no tax levy increase. Creating smaller, more frequent projects that do not create spikes in the tax levy was a priority identified by the community in 2014 and 2015 when the Board of Education engaged stakeholders in discussions about how best to plan for and fund facility improvements.  

    A chart showing that adding State Aid, Capital Reserve, and Debt Service equals no increase to the tax levy.

    Voters will also be presented with a second proposition for $4.6 million in improvements to the High School Athletic Field and Track (see below). If approved, a taxpayer with the Basic STAR Exemption would see an estimated tax increase of $1 a month per $100,000 full-value assessment. This proposition is contingent upon the success of Proposition 1.

    A table showing the annual cost to taxpayers.

    Learn more about the specific work proposed in the project below, and check back often as this site will be updated as additional information becomes available.

    PROPOSITION ONE: A Tax-Neutral Project to Update Aged Infrastructure 

    Highland High School

    • Replace end-of-life boilers from 1984 with an energy-efficient model.
    • Replace missing and damaged flashing along the perimeter of the High School roof to prevent precipitation from seeping into the building envelope. 
    • Replace outdated electrical systems, HVAC, plumbing, and finishes in identified office spaces, including the expansion of the undersized and inaccessible food services office and relocated custodial office (includes abatement).
    • Remove hazardous materials (abatement) in the boiler room and provide custodial office space.  
    • Replace 11 classroom floors, including abatement. 
    • Rehabilitate walls in 14 classrooms, including abatement.  
    • Replace gymnasium lighting with unbreakable, impact-resistant models and renovate the original, deteriorated 60-year-old roof deck that is stained and peeling. 
    • Upgrade air handlers in the kitchen to improve fresh air exchange and heating. 
    • Upgrade HVAC in the cafeteria and gymnasium to improve fresh air exchange and add air-conditioning. These spaces have high occupancy throughout the day and are used for school and community events.
    • Upgrade library’s HVAC and replace insufficient air-conditioning unit installed in 2001 to improve cooling and fresh air exchange. The new installation will be redesigned from the existing roof mount system to prevent future roof leaks.
    • Replace narrow 9” corridor lockers that are original to the building; the current ones are too small for backpacks and have obsolete parts. A survey of the student body indicated that lockers would be used if they were large enough to hold backpacks, coats, and/or instruments. 
    • Construct an 8’x30’ press box to replace the existing uninsulated shed-like structure that has no windows or environmental controls and exposes broadcasting equipment to temperature extremes. 
    • Extend home-team bleachers to provide additional seating capacity and improve spectator experience. The existing bleachers are undersized and do not accommodate the student body for school events. The new section of bleachers also functions as a foundation for the press box.   

    Highland Middle School

    • Address cracked and deteriorated masonry on stair railings and ramps at the courtyard and gymnasium emergency exit (patching cracks will prevent damage that occurs when precipitation seeps into cracks and freezes).  
    • Replace rusted, dilapidated perimeter fencing bordering the athletic fields to secure the property. 
    • Install a generator to maintain buildings’ essential operations such as phones, technology for controlling basic building functions, food service coolers (the MS is the last building to receive a generator).
    • Replace end-of-life heating and ventilation system in library to improve fresh air exchange, heating, and cooling. 
    • Replace end-of-life boiler from 1984 with an energy-efficient model and replace remaining pneumatic controls with electronic controls. 
    • Update leaky, end-of-life plumbing, including waste water piping and domestic water piping. Provide a backflow control mechanism to meet code requirements and to prevent water siphoning back into the system.  
    • Remove pre-1984 hot water tanks and pumps that are no longer in use.
    • Replace gymnasium lighting with unbreakable, impact-resistant models.
    • Install a gymnasium sound system for events/assemblies.
    • Replace antiquated end-of-life buildingwide public address and fire alarm systems. 
    • Upgrade ventilation in locker rooms and provide ventilation in identified classrooms to increase air exchange and improve air quality. 
    • Refurbish antiquated elevator to current standards; mechanicals are more than 60 years old.  
    • Upgrade HVAC in the cafeteria to improve fresh air exchange and add air-conditioning. This space has high occupancy throughout the day and is used for school and community events. 

    Elementary School

    • Renovate 24 classrooms to remove non-functioning, manual closing walls from 1971; provide a sufficient number of electrical outlets to accommodate technology use; replace worn, outdated ceilings, floor tiles, and inefficient lighting (includes abatement).
    • Replace antiquated corridor ceiling system from 1971; replacement parts are no longer available. 
    • Replace original, end-of-life boilers from 1996 with energy-efficient models and replace remaining pneumatic controls with electronic controls. 
    • Replace HVAC in upstairs and downstairs cafeterias to improve fresh air exchange, including adding air-conditioning functions. These spaces have high occupancy throughout the day and during school and community events.
    • Update air handling in the gymnasium to improve heating and fresh air exchange.
    • Replace gymnasium lighting with unbreakable, impact-resistant models and replace corridor and classroom lighting with energy-efficient fixtures. 
    • Improve building electrical service, which is original to the building (circa 1971), and is undersized to serve the power draw needed in modern spaces. Additional outlets will be installed and service capacity increased. 
    • Replace failing, end-of-life storm water roof drains to prevent water infiltration into the building envelope. 
    • Address foundation and wall cracks in the downstairs cafeteria caused by building settling to prevent further damage and protect the building from water infiltration. 
    • Investigate integrity of the storm water culvert that runs under the grounds from Twaalfskill Creek.
    • Rehabilitate the softball field, expanding and leveling the outfield and improving drainage to help field recovery after weather events. 
    • Install fencing around the rear playground area to enhance safety.
    • Add a pavilion/outdoor classroom structure equipped with benches and electricity to provide a place for outdoor learning and events. 

    Bus Garage

    • Replace an antiquated, end-of-life bus lift and add an additional lift to expand capacity for vehicle repairs and NYS Department of Transportation.


    PROPOSITION TWO: High School Track & Field Improvements

    (Contingent on passage of Proposition One)

    • Replace grass field with turf 
    • Resurface track
    • Add track timing system
    • Install track perimeter drains
    • Replace fencing
    • Add a Steeplechase and Shot Put Pit
    • Add concession and toileting facilities
    • Perform select site work on sidewalks and parking area