Q: Why does OFA need a bank, a school store and a cafe?
A: In building our Pathways to college and careers, it’s important to us that students have on-the-job experiences when learning about business and finances. Our School Store and Cafe will be completely student-run, under the leadership of a teacher, with in the business pathway. Students will not only have the opportunity to learn the retail side of business, they’ll also be responsible for the planning, scheduling, marketing and finances that come with running a business. The goal would be for the Cafe and School Store to be open during the day for OFA students to enjoy, as well as at night and on weekends during different school and community events, as a way to raise funds for their extra curricular boosters, clubs and student government. The in-house credit union (who’s construction will be paid for in-full by the contracted entity) will be an active branch, employing students as tellers, and overseen by a credit union employee. Students who are interested in finance and banking will have the opportunity to intern in the credit union. There will also be added opportunity for all students to learn the importance of banking, credit, loans and other areas of everyday finance.
Q: Is the Library at OFA being eliminated?
A: No - As the shift in curriculum and education evolves, we must also shift the way we utilize our libraries. In this project, we are proposing that the existing library be moved upstairs, where it will be directly accessible from our collaborative STEAM spaces. The library will serve as a research center at the core of OFA where students can come together in small groups, develop their research skills, and access resources to enhance their understanding of their curriculum and conference with both teachers and classmates. The space will be designed with the goal of collaboration and forward-thinking in mind.
Q: What is the estimated timeline of the project?
A: If passed, construction on the project would begin in the summer of 2020, and the scope of work would span over 2, or possibly 3 summers there-after.
Q: What Impact will this project have on the local share?
A: Over several years, the District has responsibly funded its Capital Reserve. As a result, based on the current conditions, the District can complete this project with no further impact on the tax levy.
Q: What is building aid?
A: New York State Building Aid is available for expenditures incurred in voter-approved construction of new buildings, additions, alterations, or modernization of District-owned buildings. Currently, the District’s State aid ratio for approved capital improvements is 84.3%.
Q: How can a $24.4 million capital project referendum have no
impact on the tax levy?
A: The project will be funded by $2,000,000 from the District’s Capital Reserve Fund and $1,362,955 from retiring debt. These funds have been strategically set aside to offset the local share of capital projects.
The remaining $19,359,352 from the local tax levy will be bonded and offset by state aid over 15 years. In the event of a change in the District’s financial factors (i.e., State aid ratio), the District may also use money from its debt service reserve and appropriated fund balance to ensure that the project does NOT impact the tax levy.
NOTE: An additional $1,753,478 will be allocated and funded through the New York State’s Smart School Bond Act. These funds are in addition to the $22,722,207 referendum and will have NO additional tax impact in the tax levy.
Q: How does the proposed capital project affect the District’s 2019-2020 budget?
A: The proposed capital project and the District’s operating budget for the 2019-2020 school year are separate.