White Plains school district voters OK $48.2M bond issue

Eastview Middle School is seen at 350 Main Eastview Middle School is seen at 350 Main St. in White Plains. (Oct. 19, 2012) Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

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White Plains school district voters overwhelmingly approved a $48.2 million bond issue that will be used for capital projects, including renovation of the Eastview School and installation of districtwide Wi-Fi service, officials said.

The district's voters passed the bond issue Tuesday 755 to 270, an almost 3-to-1 margin, according to unofficial results released by School Board Clerk Michele Schoenfeld.

"I'm very pleased the community has supported our bond vote," School Board President Rosemarie Eller said Wednesday morning. Eller said the funds would be used for "critical" infrastructure improvements.

The largest portion of the funds -- $22 million -- will be used to reconstruct the crowded Eastview School, built in 1925. About 500 students attend the middle school, which is also home to the White Plains Youth Bureau and Head Start and BOCES classes.

Other slated projects the bond would fund include extensive renovations of Ridgeway Elementary and playground improvements throughout the district.

School officials are also seeking to use $4.5 million of the money raised to add wireless capability to all facilities in the district, something White Plains Public Schools Superintendent Christopher Clouet argues is necessary to keep up with the times.

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"A variety of resources are available only digitally," Clouet said last week, citing the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Weekly Reader classroom magazine as two educational resources no longer available in print.

The bond would cost the average taxpayer in White Plains an additional $65.12 annually for 15 years on a tax levy increase of .72 percent. The debt service on the school district's most recent bond, passed in 2006, is about to be retired.

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