This bridge by the Junior and Senior High School would be repaired to improve secondary entrance and exit

New York town approves $35 million school improvement bond

February 14, 2024

Residents in Herkimer, New York, approved a $35.4 million bond Jan. 16 to renovate school facilities, improve site infrastructure and enhance health and safety measures. The Herkimer Central School District (HCSD) immediately moved the projects into the design phase. Bidding will open March 2025. Construction will begin June 2025.

The bond prioritizes four areas to improve the HCSD campuses: health and safety, aging infrastructure, accessibility and programmatic needs. The district will start by removing the junior and senior high school’s pool. They will then reconstruct the space, replacing it with a modern STEAM instructional area.

The district will reconstruct the auxiliary gym, install spectator seating and update the facility’s aging infrastructure. Other plans include renovating the auditorium and its entry area, improving the school’s chorus and band room, upgrading interior and exterior restrooms, relocating office space and making other general infrastructure upgrades. The district will also install emergency alert lighting and improve the outside public address system for large group assembly areas.

HCSD will perform site work at the Junior and Senior High School to repair a pedestrian bridge that serves as the school’s secondary entrance and exit for students and first responders. In addition to adding extra parking for the main gym, the district will improve the school’s sidewalk and parking lots. The district also will enhance Harmon Field’s safety by making general improvements.

The bond will allow the district to replace the elementary school’s roof and reconfigure its office spaces. HCSD will also upgrade the cafetorium’s sound system, replace the media presentation equipment and upgrade the restrooms. Other investments include replacing the school’s aging HVAC system, installing emergency alert lighting, improving outside public address systems and various infrastructure upgrades identified in a building condition survey the district conducted.

The district will update the parking lot and playground lighting to LED. HCSD will also expand the playground, introducing age-appropriate play materials for PreK, kindergarten and first-grade students.

HCSD will replace the athletic complex’s sound system, field lighting and scoreboards. In addition, the district will resurface the track, upgrade the field event areas, update the press box and improve the concession areas. The district will also replace the bus garage’s roof.

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Photo courtesy of the Herkimer Central School District

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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