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BOE Sends $48.2 Million Bond to Voters

The White Plains Board of Education approved financing for a $48.2 million spending plan that will be brought to a public vote on Oct. 23.

The White Plains Board of Education has voted to borrow $48.2 million for renovations in 11 district buildings including $22.6 million for major renovations at Eastview Middle School.

White Plains residents will vote on the plan on Oct. 23.

School board members unanimously approved the plan during a meeting at the on Homeside Lane in White Plains Tuesday night.

"Hopefully people looking back 20 years from now will say 'you guys made a good decision in putting the money forward at that point in time to make these improvements'," said Jim Hricay, a board of education member.

If approved, the capital spending plan would raise the district's tax levy by .72 percent, which would increase the tax payment for an average White Plains home by $65.12 annually, according to district estimates.

Although the majority of the spending plan will go toward building renovations, board members addressed perceived concerns that $4.8 million will be spent adding WiFi internet to each district building. 

White Plains Superintendent Dr. Christopher Clouet said the wireless internet will be useful for periodicals, research and access to educational websites outside of the computer lab. Administrators will also use WiFi while doing teacher evaluations and other work.

"It's not about e-mail and texting," Clouet said.

Adding wireless internet now would also be easier since renovations are planned in almost every district building if the bond is approved, Clouet added.

Hricay, who said he was hesitant to support including WiFi in the proposal, said he understands how WiFi can be useful.

"I think it's important to get the message out there that this isn't just kids thumbing away in class," he said. "This is a learning tool."

A task force approved by the district has been working on the capital plan since reviewing the condition of district buildings in 2010. The board approved the Oct. 23 vote during its last meeting on Aug. 13 before finalizing the proposal Tuesday.

Clouet said he plans to discuss the spending plan at neighborhood association meetings and parent-teacher association meetings next month to give residents a more detailed look at the plan.

A breakdown of proposed spending by building is available .

2011 August 29, 2012 at 05:42 PM
No, thank you! I'd love to make improvements to my house (new doors to decrease the cold air that seeps in during the winter), but cannot afford to. I may not have the option of asking my fellow neighbors to help pay for new doors, but I can exercise my voting rights. This is not the time to ask taxpayers for more money. When will enough be enough for the district? Does this bond also cover any increase in pay for teachers? I wonder...
Zach Oliva (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I don't think so. The detailed sheet handed out by the district includes each of the projects covered in the bond and there's nothing on salaries in there. Plus I'm almost positive it's illegal to bond your operating costs (like employee compensation). I'll scan off a PDF of the detailed expenses later today and post it here.
Peter Iannace August 29, 2012 at 08:00 PM
no way. Enough of our tax dollars going to waste. They built a new school at Post road...did their grades get better because of it? Nope. Also what about raising sales tax instead of footing the bill to residents. One benefit of living in white plains was the lower property tax...not any more...$65 for the average house? What does that mean?
John R McCarthy August 30, 2012 at 12:29 PM
If this is true it is a outrage-- A special election on Oct 23 which is 2 WEEKS/ 14 DAYS prior to the Presidential election-- at what cost to tax payers to have a special election when if one really wanted to have a representative turn out they would have this at the same time as the general election. This holds true for ALL the school elections--they SHOULD be on same day as general election--guess what --we may even just save tax payers money-- DON'T say can't be done- you chose not to do it--other states do--why is NY so different-because we are BROKE?? It is embarrassing to say the least that stupidity prevails
2011 August 30, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Please post the voting locations. There are different locations for different locations, which can be very confusing for many of us. Thank you!
Zach Oliva (Editor) August 30, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Sure, I'll ask about it and post as soon as I find out.
Zach Oliva (Editor) August 30, 2012 at 01:58 PM
The Voting Locations are as follows: #1: Fire Station #5 (Harding & Robertson Avenues) #2: Church Street School #3: Rochambeau School #4: Highlands Middle School #5: Mamaroneck Avenue School #6: Ridgeway School
2011 August 30, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Thanks so much! Glad you were able to make sense of my messy sentence!
John Smith August 30, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Agreed. I posted pretty much the same comment on the other WPSD bond article. Budget votes are different because the school districts fiscal year does not line up well with a November vote, but this "special election" 2 weeks prior to the general election is a joke.
Zach Oliva (Editor) August 30, 2012 at 06:44 PM
No problem!
Zach Oliva (Editor) August 30, 2012 at 06:46 PM
It's an interesting question. I'll ask about this at one of the upcoming presentations.
J.R Burrows August 31, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Zach- can you please post that .pdf you had mentioned above? Thanks by much.
2011 September 01, 2012 at 03:46 PM
The vote should be held during the general election. Perhaps the district is afraid that with more people voting during the general election, this would certainly not pass. It is well known that fewer of us vote outside of this election, and it favors the district every time.

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