North Colonie residents vote down plan to upgrade school district

December 16, 2016 12:50 AM

NORTH COLONIE -- “I think it's an unnecessary expenditure of our tax dollars,” said North Colonie resident Linda Rubino.

North Colonie residents voted against a 196-million-dollar plan to expand and upgrade their school district's facilities Thursday.

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North Colonie Central School District Superintendent Joseph Corr said the capital project would have made room for 939 students expected to enroll over the next decade.


He also said it would keep class sizes low and improve opportunities for students.

“They're old facilities and we need to upgrade them so that we can provide out students the very best in a 21st century education,” Corr said.

“We need more space for students. More facilities. More teachers,” said North Colonie resident Rishikesh Krishnan.

But most people voting at the district office on Fiddlers lane, including Rubino, couldn't get behind the plan.

“We struggle now to pay our taxes,” Rubino said. “We don't want to see that. And I just don't see it as expedient and necessary and I voted no,” she said.

The grades k-12 building project wasn't without controversy.

Critics, including Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners, complained that voting days before Christmas at only one polling station could discourage or prevent some people such as seniors from casting their ballots.

Corr said school officials followed the law.

“State education law states that unless we have personal registration we can only vote in one place in this district,” he said.

He also said voting now was necessary to receive state aid by a June 2018 deadline.

The date and location may not have mattered.

North Colonie school officials said by 7:15pm they had broken a 20-year record for voter turnout.

In all 54 percent voted no and 46 percent supported the project.

“I thought about the cost of it but again we have to remain competitive with our education system,” said Nadine Glenning.

“As well as it being an expense I think it would be bad for the environment and I don't want to see it happen,” Rubino said.

Superintendent Corr said the district will now have to modify its plan and adjust the proposal.


Nia Hamm

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