Capital Project Q & A

Frequently Asked Questions

We are continually updating this page with new information. If you have a question that is not answered here, please email your question to (please put “Capital Project” in the subject line). Someone will get back to you with an answer!


Why is the vote on December 11th and not on Election Day (Tuesday, November 6th) or in May with the regular budget vote?

By law, school districts cannot hold a vote on the same date as a political election due to differences in voting districts. Election district and school district boundaries are not the same.

The timing of our vote is based upon several factors, most notably when the work needs to take place.  We then work backwads, taking into account how long it will take to design, submit, and ultimately how long it will take to gain State Education Department (SED) approval.  In order to be fiscally responsible, we need to make sure that there is plenty of time for each of these steps so that when the project goes to bid, we can receive the most competitive bids possible, ensuring that scope of work remains the same and that our budget remains intact.  One significant goal of the board and district is to bring this project in under the proposed budget.  

What is the estimated cost of the project?

The cost of the project subject to voter approval is $28,935,000 (maximum). 64.2% of the cost would be eligible for state building aid reimbursement. The remaining portion, 35.8%, called the local share is what taxpayers would be responsible for.

Is the proposed project within the tax levy cap?

Yes, the estimated tax levy increase associated with this project is not to exceed two percent:

Tax Impact = 2.00% (maximum)

Tax Rate Impact = 0.3375 cents per $1,000 assessed value

Equal to $33.75 annually on a home assessed at $100,000

Equal to $67.50 annually on a home assessed at $200,000

It is worth noting that Cairo-Durham CSD’s tax levy per pupil is the lowest of Greene County’s six public school districts (approx. $10,900). This project will not significantly change these stats or the District’s position within the county. Click here for more information about the estimated tax impact associated with this capital improvement project. 

What work is included from the Building Condition Survey (BCS), and how much will it cost?

The Building Condition Survey (BCS) performed in 2017 identified areas most in need of maintenance and repair.* Based on BCS recommendations, the proposed project includes repair and maintenance work throughout the district totaling approximately $4.4 million. The proposed work includes the following BCS items identified as “Immediate Need/High Priority:”

Cairo-Durham Middle/High School

Replace asphalt and subbase along back of cafeteria
Replace asphalt and subbase at roadway
Replace asphalt and subbase at main parking lot (with new parking layout)
Resurface existing resilient track surfacing and relocate events
New well (location to be determined)
New 200 KW generator (48-hour tank)

Cairo-Durham Elementary School

Add new parking lot adjacent to existing parking lot
Renovate Boys’ & Girls’ restrooms and drinking fountains (1st and 2nd floor)
Replace electrical room door & frame with a fire-rated door, frame and hardware
Provide ADA compliant restroom in the Nurse’s Office
Provide ADA compliant access to the stage (lift)
Fire alarm systems (add strobe lights in basement, 1st and 2nd floor)

*Several priority items were addressed in a smaller capital project completed in 2016, such as a new playground and a single point of entry at Cairo-Durham Elementary.

What is the timeline of the project, and how would daily routines be impacted during construction?

Maintenance and repairs from the BCS list (above) would occur in 2020-21. New construction at the middle/high school would begin in the spring of 2021 and finish by the fall of 2022.

While much of the work would be accomplished over two summers, there would likely be a need to relocate some classrooms temporarily. A specific plan would be developed following the vote when the District is able to create a detailed timeline (if the project is approved).

What is a makerspace, and why should the Media Center have one?

A makerspace offers a variety of activities, tools and materials to encourage creativity, invention and learning. Each makerspace is different and can include tools such as software, hardware, craft supplies and electronics. Most makerspaces fit within the important STEM framework—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—while also branching into the STEAM movement to include concepts of art and design.

The Media Center at CDMS/HS has makerspace activities for student use, however there is no designated space for students to engage in these activities on a daily basis. Therefore kits promoting STE(A)M concepts such as electronics and coding are rarely used in the Media Center. If the project is approved, the new Media Center would be built with a designated makerspace area and include more tools to encourage problem-solving, creativity and innovative design.

If a Fitness Center is added, what will happen to the middle school cafeteria?

Because the fitness center would be built where the middle school cafeteria is currently located, all CDMS/HS students would use the existing high school cafeteria (which was renovated in 2016). Based on our enrollment data, one cafeteria will be sufficient to support Grades 6-12. Students in grade levels would still be kept with their classmates while eating lunches (i.e. sixth graders will not be eating with twelth graders.)  Additionally, there would be some operational efficiency as a result of combining the cafeterias.

Will the Fitness Center be open to the community?

Yes, however there would be time restrictions for when the community could access the fitness center. For example, the fitness center would be closed to the public during school hours (approximately 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.). 

What happens if the capital project does not pass?

As a school district, having some debt is actually a good thing. If the project is not approved, a declining debt service could result in a negative tax levy impact in the future. Like most public school districts, CDCSD relies on state aid as well as a local share of taxes in order to function. With a negative tax levy and the absence of debt service, the District could face cutting programs and staff due to its inability to ask for any local share to supplement what state aid it does receive to support our school district.

Additionally, there would still be critical issues that need to be addressed such as safety issues, pavement in disrepair, outdated learning spaces, energy efficiency, and insufficient athletic facilities.

What if I have a question not listed here?

If you have a question or concern that is not answered on our website, please contact the District Office at 518-622-8534, ext. 25010, or send an email to (please put “Capital Project” in the subject line).

capital project vote December 11 2018


Image icon C-D CP Vote 12-11-2018 web.jpg277.97 KB