2016 Capital Improvements Bond Update

Over the last couple of years, the Chappaqua Central School District has been on an important journey of creating active learning environments where teachers and students can engage in authentic inquiry based projects, construct new knowledge and collaborate across the academic continuum. We want students to explore their passions and solve relevant, complex problems, both individually and collaboratively, by using varied approaches, providing meaningful feedback to each other, and by setting their own learning goals.

To assist us in achieving our learning goals for students, we are in the transformational process of providing larger, purposefully designed and flexible learning spaces that serve the needs of all students as they participate in active learning and multi-disciplinary projects.

Active learning, or project-based learning, is generally defined as a process whereby students engage in experiences that involve meaningful inquiry, action, imagination, invention, interaction, hypothesizing, and personal reflection. Simply stated, students learn by doing, that is, applying their content knowledge to authentic work. Studies show that active learning benefits students across all subjects, increases academic performance and provides opportunities that encourages student collaboration as they design, build knowledge, and resolve conflict.

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Global Learning Centers

  • Repurposing library/computer lab space at each elementary school, repurposing library space at Greeley.
  • Flexible and adaptable spaces will support varied instructional techniques, promote student collaboration and research, and enhance virtual and face-to-face communication.
  • These centers have spaces where students can work in individualized research stations or collaborate in either open areas or smaller breakout rooms. At the elementary level, we will provide outdoor instructional work areas.
  • In addition to print materials housed in stacks, we will include individual and small group study areas, digital research resources, video teleconferencing and streaming capability, and the flexibility to include new technologies as they emerge.
  • At the elementary level, designated maker spaces will provide students with the tools and technology to envision, design, prototype and create following a design thinking process.
  • At Greeley, we plan to include a designated media production studio that will provide students with the space and technology to create audio and video productions.

STEAM Centers

  • Projects will be developed around multi-disciplinary learning with an emphasis on inspiring students to be innovators in the areas of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.
  • The STEAM centers will allow students to explore, prototype, sketch designs, create and test products, and present and reflect on their work.
  • The STEAM centers will contain exploratory production spaces with advanced machinery and digital equipment to produce professional-quality work.
  • Each STEAM center will have collaborative brainstorming space and individual thinking space incorporated into the design, enabling students to develop ideas and experience and interactive design process.
  • Space will be allocated for presentation, beta-testing, whole class instruction and gallery space to showcase products.
  • In each middle school, we plan to include maker space/robotics lab space, design studio, fabrication lab space,
  • presentation/critique space, and a commons.
  • At Greeley, we plan to include fine arts studios as well as design, fabrication, assembly, and applied science labs.

Instructional Centers

  • Repurposing both floors of L Building at Greeley--two instructional centers on each floor.
  • Smaller and larger conference rooms and work spaces with advanced mobile technology will provide areas for in-depth research and collaboration, both face-to-face and virtually.
  • The instructional centers will be equipped with flexible furniture and technology that will give teachers the ability to facilitate instruction across a wide range of modalities.
  • We plan to provide emerging technologies and communication tools for individual and collaborative online work, large LED screens for public display of work, writing walls, and movable white boards.
  • The instructional centers will empower students to use design thinking, create, and apply their ideas to authentic problems.
  • The instructional centers will offer a comfortable environment where teachers can provide individual coaching and support to students with varied academic needs.

Chappaqua Public Library

  • New adult quiet area and meeting rooms for individuals and groups.
  • New family (ADA) bathrooms to accommodate care-givers and strollers.
  • New children’s area to increase seating for 1st-4th grade study/research and child-height shelving.
  • New enclosed teen zone area to enhance learning and teen activities and to mitigate noise.
  • New café / Additional meeting/activity space / More instructional space.

Project Completion Time Line

Douglas Grafflin Elementary School
Project Status Estimated Completion Date
Global Learning Center Complete  
Infrastructure In Progress TBD
Roaring Brook Elementary School
Project Status Estimated Completion Date
Global Learning Center Complete  
Infrastructure In Progress TBD
Westorchard Elementary School
Project Status Estimated Completion Date
Global Learning Center Complete  
Infrastructure In Progress TBD
Robert E. Bell Middle School
Project Status Estimated Completion Date
Science Classrooms Complete  
Infrastructure In Progress TBD
Bathrooms (107/108) In Progress December 15, 2018
Side Field In Progress Ready for Use Spring 2020
STEAM Center In Progress January 31, 2019
Seven Bridges Middle School
Project Status Estimated Completion Date
STEAM Center In Progress January 1, 2019
Infrastructure In Progress TBD
Horace Greeley High School
Project Status Estimated Completion Date
Competition Field (turf) Complete  
C Field (turf) Completed  
Infrastructure In Progress TBD
Room K110 In Progress December 15, 2018
Global Learning Center In Progress March 15, 2019
Instructional Center (upper) In Progress April 1, 2019
STEAM Center In Progress August 31, 2019
Instructional Center (lower) Begin 6/24/19 November 30, 2019
Auditorium Lobby TBD  
Chappaqua Public Library
Project Status Estimated Completion Date
All Projects In Progress April 1, 2019

Financials (Questions & Answers)

Partial funding of the bond was to come from the sale of school district properties. Has any district property been sold?

Not yet. The Town of New Castle Planning Board is scheduled to hold a public hearing regarding the subdivision of the Zauderer Property on December 18, 2018.  Once it is approved, the District will take steps to sell this piece of property. We will begin the sub-division of other properties after the sale of the Zauderer Property is completed.

Will any Fund Balance be used this year to service the debt?

Yes, the District will be using Fund Balance and the reduction of the Interfund Transfer Fund to fund the debt service this year. This was discussed at the Budget Overview Board meeting on March 7, 2018 (Slide 19), the Non-Instructional Budget & Fund Balance Board meeting on March 28, 2018 (Slide 27), and shown in the 2018-19 Budget Book (page 10).   

What are the true costs of the projects vs. what was presented in 2016?

The District has bid out most of the projects, however, most of the FFE (furnishing, furniture, and equipment) has not been purchased for the Greeley projects, which represents the majority of the bond. The District is under the budget and expects to complete all projects within the allotted $42.5M bond.

What changes were made (or will be made) to the bond projects vs. what was presented in 2016? And did (will) any of these changes impact programs?

Other than the switching of two playing fields approved by residents on May 16, 2017 -- turf field to Greeley and grass field to Bell -- there are no other changes to the projects.

What is the status for source of funds, real estate sales, and use of Fund Balance?

If the District is not able to complete the sale of the Zauderer property by June 30, 2020 (the end of the 2019-2020 fiscal year), we will use additional Fund Balance to meet our commitment to the community--The tax levy will not increase as a result of this bond. For the 2019-20 budget, we will most likely indicate the funding for the debt service as State Aid and Fund Balance, but keep in mind the District has the full 2019-20 school year to sell the property.