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New Furnace Needed At Rye School, $1.8 Million Bond Issue Proposed

Spring may have sprung outside Rye's Osborn Elementary School, but an aging furnace has created a "very serious situation," according to Rye Superintendent of Schools Frank Alvarez. A $1.8 million bond issue is proposed on May 17 to replace it.
Spring may have sprung outside Rye's Osborn Elementary School, but an aging furnace has created a "very serious situation," according to Rye Superintendent of Schools Frank Alvarez. A $1.8 million bond issue is proposed on May 17 to replace it. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

RYE, N.Y. -- Rye City School District officials are proposing a $1.8 million bond issue next month to replace a 60-year-old furnace at Osborn Elementary School.

The bond issue, to be put before voters on May 17, would accompany the regular school budget vote and vote for Board of Education members. The school board is expected to discuss the furnace replacement project at its next meeting on Tuesday night.

A copy of a related letter from Rye Superintendent of Schools Frank Alvarez, sent to parents, can be found online here.

Alvarez said on Friday:

"I am writing to inform you of a serious situation relating to the furnace at Osborn School. The Osborn School furnace was installed when the school was built in 1956, meaning it is 60 years old. Due to very careful maintenance, the District has been able to extend the lifespan of this piece of equipment well beyond the norm. At this juncture, the furnace is failing and we have no choice but to replace it immediately."

"The District will be asking the community to support a bond to finance the furnace replacement for an amount not to exceed $1.8 million. The bond will take the form of a proposition which will be added to the ballot of the 2016-17 school district budget vote on May 17," Alvarez said.

"School districts typically bond as the most fiscally-prudent means of funding one-time capital expenditures for long-term assets like furnaces and roofs. Bonding enables the District to borrow money at a very low interest rate and allows it to be paid back over time. Bonding for capital expenditures also helps preserve our AAA bond rating," Alvarez concluded in his letter.

"This is all the information we can provide now," Sarah Derman, a school district spokeswoman, said on Friday. "There may be more forthcoming at Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting. I do not know of any other additional propositions planned for the May school budget and board of elections vote."

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