Officials at Jamesville-Dewitt School can’t be sure that voters will go for the school’s planned $3.1 million stadium renovation project, but they can be sure of something else: their project is now eligible for over $2 million in state aid, and it’s all thanks to carpeting.
According to district officials, a $49,000 carpet upgrade will allow the entire stadium improvement project to qualify for state aid. This is good news to the district’s taxpayers, who will have to pay far less if voters do approve the project on Oct. 28.
The carpet in question is the 22-year-old carpet in the high school’s band and choral room. Carpets in humid areas like Syracuse are susceptible to mold, which can cause various health problems. This means that carpet cleaning or replacement is always a good thing, but that’s not the reason officials are moving forward with the carpeting project.
The stadium improvement project was originally planned to include a new artificial turf field, new lighting, and a six lane track. Without work inside the school building, however, the project couldn’t qualify for state aid. However, with the carpet replacement tacked on to the project, the project qualifies for state reimbursement at a ratio of 71%.
This will bring the total cost for local tax payers from $3.1 million down to a mere $375,000.
The carpet improvement project wasn’t selected at random, either. Officials consulted a building condition survey the district performs every five years and chose from its list of potential interior projects. The carpet project appealed to them because it was simple and wouldn’t require a lot of review.
Other districts have performed similar combinations of indoor and outdoor work to qualify for capital work funds for large projects like new turf or sidewalks. Most of these projects are approved as long as the item to be renovated has outlived its use.
A public meeting about the project is scheduled on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at the high school, and if the project is approved, turf installation may start as soon as next summer, with the renovated stadium and band room both opening for the September 2015 school district.