On Tuesday, Dec. 12, Cambridge CSD residents will vote on a proposed $11,280,000 capital project that will provide no additional impact on the tax levy. If approved, the project would reconstruct a new auditorium in its current location, along with a lobby in the hallway adjacent to the auditorium.
Uses of the new multipurpose auditorium:
- a performing arts venue (concerts, plays, etc.)
- a college-level theater elective for students next year
- a lecture hall for academics and presenters
- a testing center (seats will have desks for testing)
- assemblies for National Honor Society, graduation, moving up ceremonies, prom coronation, etc.
- elementary movie nights and grade level assemblies/meetings
- FFA regional meetings and public speaking competitions
- American Legion oratorical contests
- a public and community presentation space for blood drives, public voting, etc.
Capital Project Information
- Project at-a-Glance
- Project Renderings
- Project Timeline
- Project Newsletter
- Project Videos
- Project Q&A
- Absentee Ballots
- Qualifications to Vote
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023 | 12-8 p.m.
HS Library Media Center
Proposed Project: $11,280,000
No additional tax impact
All individuals must provide proof of residency at the vote. Proof must include a physical address, not a P.O. Box.
- Dec. 12, 2023 – Public vote
- Fall 2024 – Estimated NYSED project approval
- Spring/summer 2025 – Construction begins
- Summer 2026 – Construction ends
Dates are pending voter approval, approximate and subject to change.
View the capital project newsletter. The newsletter will be mailed to all district residents by the end of November. If you do not receive a newsletter by Nov. 30, please email Kate Canini at email@example.com.
- BOE President Shay Price explains how the project is paid for
- Students Adeline Record and Kateri Murphy, along with Mr. H, talk about student opportunities within the new space
- Director of Facilities Rich Austin and BOE member Joe Hamilton talk about the challenges with the current space
- Retiree and community member Irene Baldwin talks about how the project would be a space for the school and community
- Board members Ziehm, Honyoust and Flint, along with 8th grader Quentin Schneider, discuss the uses of the space
This Q&A will be updated throughout the next several weeks as questions from the community are compiled.
Updated Nov. 29, 2023
What is the plan for drama club during the auditorium construction if the project is approved?
The district will continue to provide drama to students off campus if the auditorium is under construction (pending approval).
How will the project impact drama club students?
The district is committed to fully funding the drama club. There will be no need to sell items to offset costs and all performances will be free of charge to attend (just like home sporting events). Drama will have the same considerations as varsity athletic programs – ensuring that there are multiple staff members (who are already on staff) whose expertise will be utilized to maintain the high quality education/performances. Mr. H has a masters from the Crane School of Music. We have several other staff members with theater backgrounds, ensuring a lot of adult and student involvement. Live music will be included with the performances. The theater elective will include workshops with actors from throughout the region. Drama club will not be a 30 minute club. It will be treated in a similar manner with lengthy rehearsals, etc. Students will have an enriching experience, not just with their peers, but with many of the teachers, staff and members of the Cambridge community.
What other students will be impacted by this project?
In addition to the drama and music/band students, there will be a number of opportunities for other students to benefit from this project. We are launching a technology student help desk next year. Those students could learn how to run the soundboard and lights at concerts, plays and other events. Additionally, art students could work on designing and decorating the sets for productions and concerts.
Updated Nov. 28, 2023
Does the district have the staff to accommodate the program needs associated with this project?
Yes. The district has an elementary and a secondary music teacher who are overseeing the music and band programs, the Glee Club, as well as the theater elective that will be offered next year. The Ag teacher will oversee the FFA events in the proposed space. No additional staff members would be needed to support the program.
How much would be saved if the district does not encumber this new proposed bond?
The district will realize $234,000 less per year in operating expenses, which is slightly less than 1% of our annual budget. Capital outlay is strategically built into the budget to improve the facilities over an extended period of time. If the district doesn’t do a project and the money is reallocated in the budget, when the district does a project down the line, there will be an increase in the tax levy.
Does the district have an ADA compliant voting station?
Yes. The district will have an ADA compliant ballot and voting station. Applicable voters should speak to an election inspector to request to use the station at the vote.
Updated: Nov. 9, 2023
What is a capital project?
Just like a home, school facilities need regular attention and upkeep to continue to operate. The cost of keeping up with the daily wear and tear can rise above what the annual school budget can support. Renovation projects, also referred to as capital projects, are a way for school districts to access state aid to complete a larger amount of facilities work than possible within the scope of the annual school budget.
How does this project have no additional impact on the tax levy?
It takes 15 years for a capital project debt to be retired. By strategically timing the capital project cycle, the district can avoid an additional school tax impact. Debt from a previous capital project is retiring, so when the new debt from this capital project begins, the net effect will not impact the tax levy.
What is the total cost of the proposed project?
The cost of the capital project is not to exceed $11,280,000. This amount represents the lump sum that will support the scope of the entire project. State aid will cover 79.5% of all costs related to the project. The district is using $625,000 of its capital reserve that was approved by voters in May 2022.
Will this capital project impact my taxes?
No. By developing an intentional and strategically-phased approach to funding and debt payments, the district is able to put forth a capital project that will not provide any additional impact on the tax levy.
How is the project paid for?
- Total project cost: $11,280,000
- Capital reserve fund: $625,000
- Project cost after capital reserve: $10,655,000
- State aid: 79.5%
- Project cost after capital reserve & state aid (before interest): $2.1 million*
- Project cost after capital reserve & state aid (after interest): $3.4 million*
- *bonded over 15 years
What will happen to the activities that currently take place in the auditorium?
The district has a number of facilities on our campus to accommodate the activities that currently take place in the auditorium. The community pickleball club can relocate to one of the gymnasiums. Indoor recess can take place in classrooms or in one of our P.E. teaching stations.
Applications for absentee ballots may be applied for at the office of the school district clerk from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the school district clerk by or prior to 3:30 p.m., on Dec. 5 if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter; or prior to 3:30 p.m., on Dec. 11 if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter. All absentee ballots must be received by the district clerk not later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 12.
Qualifications to Vote
- Citizen of the United States, at least 18 years of age.
- Resident of the district for at least 30 days prior to the vote.
- No person shall have the right to register for or vote at any school meeting or election who has been convicted of a felony per Section 5-106 of the election law.
- All individuals must provide proof of residency at the vote.