NORTH TROY – The Troy School Board held a special meeting Wednesday evening to outline plans to renovate and improve the Troy Elementary School. The board is asking voters to approve a $2,208,000 bond Tuesday, Feb. 21.
"The Troy School was built in 1978 and has had very little done to it in the past 34 years,” states an informational sheet handed out to voters.
The heating system and sprinkler system are in the process of breaking down. The committee would like to replace the dry sprinkler system with a less expensive wet one.
Doing so will require installing insulation in the attic area. The committee wants to replace the large boiler with two energy efficient boilers.
The committee would like to add gables to the entrances to the school, which will prevent snow falling from the roof onto the entrance path. It wants to change the bus drop area and a few other miscellaneous things.
“As we were going through this, we decided, as a committee, we really needed to look at the entire building, the entire problem, and try to solve it all in one package,” said committee member Bob Dunn. “We felt that was the responsible thing to do.”
“What we really wanted to avoid was to not take care of these systems and have some catastrophic event happen, like the sprinkler system goes in the middle of the year,” said Dunn. “Then you have to figure out a way to pay for it. It would probably end up in the school budget.”
The school board looked into federal grants, but they were in the neighborhood of $50,000 to $200,000.
“Obviously those aren’t enough to cover the costs that we need to do the project we want to do,” said school board member Jen Daigle. Daigle said grants would take away the opportunity to obtain other financing options. “That’s really not an option that we’re looking at.”
The project will not affect business owners, just owners of residential properties, Daigle said.
The project received mixed reaction from residents who attended the meeting.
“I don’t see why we have to replace the windows and doors,” said Niles Bean. “According to you, the only thing is the concrete floor.”
A few people at the meeting suggested building a new school at a different location.
The final cost for the improvements would be three million once the interest is figured in, resident Betty Mason said.
Bean expressed concern there is talk about building a middle school for the western part of the North Country Supervisory district.
However, Board Chair Dwayne Before said the only way the board would support a west side middle school is if property taxes would decrease.
Bean said residents have to look at their properties. “I can’t give my house away right now,” said Bean. “I’ve talk to realtors and they said they want nothing to do with selling property in Troy because they can’t get rid of it.”