Bedford Schools: District Upgrades To Cost $75M Max

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Bedford Board of Education members were presented with rough cost estimates for the Bedford Central School District's capital plan Wednesday. Photo Credit: Liz Button

BEDFORD, N.Y. – The Bedford Central School District’s 2013 capital plan could cost up to $75.67 million. According to school officials, that is the plan's highest possible cost if all projects currently proposed get the green light.

The Board of Education was presented with a very rough cost estimate at its meeting Wednesday, part of the lead-up to a public bond vote in March.

While some projects will likely be taken off the table between now and the bond vote, as it stands, the proposed cost for repairs and upgrades in each school is: $10.2 million for Fox Lane High School; $15.62 million for the middle school; $3.22 million for Bedford Hills Elementary School; $2.9 million for Bedford Village; $3.06 million at Mount Kisco; $2.65 million for Pound Ridge; and, finally, the massive “green” overhaul of West Patent Elementary School, which would cost $35.02 million. West Patent was built in 1970 and retains much of its original structure and material.

The breakdown among all schools reveals common project themes, including door repair and window replacement, heating and air-conditioning upgrades, electrical system upgrades, roof work and toilet room renovations.

Also in the mix are two projects on the Fox Lane campus, designated as districtwide: reconstructing and resurfacing the track, which will cost $3 million, and doing underground piping repairs and upgrades, a project that not yet been given an estimate.

Mark Betz, assistant superintendent for business, stressed that the cost estimates definitely will come down. The current list, Betz said, reflects “the biggest numbers you can possibly anticipate," not counting the as-yet undetermined cost of the underground piping project.

The estimates have not yet been vetted by an outside consultant, board President Susan Elion Wollin said, and other sources of funding such as grants and donations have not been accounted for. The district will also realize annual utility savings once windows are replaced and lighting upgrades are done.

No decisions have been made, school officials stressed, and a number of projects are likely to be tabled as time goes on. The district is considering only what it calls "priority one projects," those that put safety, modernization and sustainability first, rather than mere aesthetics.

The district has hired KSQ Architects of White Plains, and the next step is to interview prospective vendors and construction managers. The Capital Planning Committee, which is made up of members of the community along with representatives of the Board of Education, is helping with the interview process and is reviewing projected costs for all proposed capital projects.

"The committee is also being very bold in saying, ‘We’ve got a lot of stuff here, but we need more detail,’ ” Betz said.

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