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A Message from Superintendent Pero: Capital Improvement Project Focuses on Safety and Security Renovations and Addresses Instructional Space Inequity

Every day our students are encouraged to “be their best, do their best and make a difference in the lives of others.” The ability to meet this mission at Pittsford Schools requires a collaborative effort between the District and its stakeholders. The support and commitment of the Pittsford community allows us to invest in our resources to create a student-centered supportive environment for all.

On March 28, the District will take a vote to residents for a proposed capital improvement project. This plan has been years in development (paused during COVID) by reviewing the State Education Department (SED) required building condition survey report, collecting feedback through regular District and building level meetings, analyzing costs and finding ways to leverage the maximum amount of State Aid. After prioritizing the $300 million of repairs and renovations in the SED building condition survey report, the final scope of work is focused on health, safety and science classrooms.

Our students’ and staff’s safety and security is always at the forefront of our focus, which is why the proposed project includes securing entrances with double-door vestibules, adding large-area-of-assembly locks, and emergency generators across all nine buildings. In addition, the District will also repurpose and update underutilized areas to create dedicated spaces for students to meet with mental health providers like social workers, behavior specialists, psychologists, and counselors to address escalating student mental health needs.

An additional priority within the project includes addressing inequities in instructional spaces at the secondary level. Sutherland High School and Calkins Road Middle School received significant renovations in the last major project. Therefore, we will be turning our attention to Mendon High School and Barker Road Middle School to provide updates that will bring all four of our secondary schools more in line, particularly with Science and technology classrooms. Additional renovations include removing the portable classroom trailers at Barker Road Middle School, reconfiguring common areas, and closing the swimming pool due to its unsustainable structure and repurposing that space for fitness and multipurpose. Mendon High School science classrooms will be renovated, resulting in an addition dedicated to science. There will be enhancements to the swimming pool area, and new tennis courts and pickleball courts will be constructed for PE and community use.

We feel that the timing is right to make these renovations and improvements to better serve our students as PCSD has paid off a major portion of debt acquired from previous capital project. In addition, through a capital project, the District can access state building aid to cover an estimated 76% of the total financing, while utilizing $14 million in capital reserves, therefore, there is no planned increase in the tax levy as it relates to this capital project.

I encourage you to read more about the 2023 capital improvement project and join us at our upcoming public forums at 6:30 p.m. on January 31 (Barker Road Middle School cafeteria) and February 8 at 6:30 p.m. (Mendon High School commons). For our Board of Education, our nearly 6,000 students and more than 1,150 employees, I thank you for your consideration on vote day, March 28 from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. at the Barker Road Middle School gymnasium.