Portions of a proposed $7.8 million capital project, which voters in the East Aurora School District will decide upon next month, have brought out interest groups eager to see those items move forward, regardless of the vote’s outcome.
“Local groups are working to help pay for the local share of the auditorium sound system and the high school scoreboard,” East Aurora School Board President Daniel Brunson said. “They’re small parts of the project but it’s essential that we think of creative ways to finance them.”
A group led by music teacher Paul Blackwell is backing the sound system. Fundraising efforts have included everything from spaghetti dinners to donations from the East Aurora Education Foundation. The group has netted about $15,000 toward the system, which will cost more than $100,000.
Supporters of the proposed stadium scoreboard have just started conversations about how to support the much-needed replacement of the 40-year-old board, but Brunson said he expects similar efforts from that group. Originally estimated at $53,000, current figures peg the new scoreboard costs at closer to $23,000.
However, both items are only a small part of the capital project, which is primarily geared toward improving safety and security at the district’s three buildings, as well as providing much needed maintenance. Roofing and masonry repairs top the list, along with electrical and plumbing upgrades.
Plans also call for improvements to door security and communications systems as well as upgrades to technology and computer server disaster recovery.
School business manager Paul Blowers said state aid and existing school district reserves will fund the project through June 2021. After that, he anticipates the tax levy will need an increase of 1 percent or $170,750 from 2022 through June 2031 to cover the local share of the debt. He did not say whether fundraising will affect those numbers.
Residents will vote on the project Oct. 8 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Middle School Cafeteria, 430 Main St.