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Voters approve 1,000 Island Capital Project

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CLAYTON — Voters in the Thousand Islands Central School District have approved a $4.75 million capital project to improve energy efficiency and security at district buildings. In what Superintendent Frank C. House called a “win-win,” the project was approved 196-126 Tuesday night.

“We’ll have more savings with the energy-efficient system than the initial costs for installation,” Mr. House said.

The project includes improvements to the schools’ security infrastructure, energy consumption and maintenance.

About 60 percent of the cost will be covered through state building aid, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority aid and $600,000 from a capital project reserve account.

The local share is roughly $1.8 million, or $120,000 annually in debt service, to be paid over 15 years.

The local share after state funding will be about $1,843,650, or roughly $120,000 annually, but Mr. House said the projected savings is $2,044,192 over 15 years.

The fuel oil boilers are to be replaced with propane to cut energy costs.

Additionally, district officials hope to install 40-kilowatt solar panels at all three buildings. General infrastructure upgrades and maintenance will include work on metal panels at the high school, adding lights to the Cape Vincent parking lot, paving the Guardino Elementary School bus garage parking lot and adding a patch to the water line.

At the middle/high school building, district officials want to replace the auditorium’s lighting and stage sound system, improve lighting at the athletic field and install a wood pellet boiler to further reduce heating costs.

To improve security districtwide, a total of 100 security cameras — 60 indoors and 40 outside — will be installed to help control public access and to make sure staffers know the identities and purpose of all visitors.

“The tragedy at Sandy Hook was one of the true inspirations for security improvements,” Mr. House said, referring to the December 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. “Right now there is a huge room for improvement.”

The Thousand Islands capital project has been a year in the making and will take less than two years to begin.

“We have a lot left to do; now we’ll start to apply for grants and make arrangements with the architects,” Mr. House said.

He said the first step in implementing the project will be meeting Friday with the district’s architectural firm, Ashley McGraw of Syracuse.

“There are always a few ‘no’ votes, no matter what we propose, for whatever reason,” Mr. House said. “Thank everyone who came out and supported this project.”

A complete report, including photos of the school, is available at the Thousand Islands School District website at www.1000islandsschools.org.

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