South Orangetown Central School District

Capital Projects


March 8, 2022: Thanks to strong community support, the proposed 2022 Capital Improvements Bond was approved by 66% of the vote. Detailed information regarding the March 8, 2022 public bond vote is posted at

December 9, 2021: The Board of Education passed a resolution at its December 9, 2021 meeting to hold a public bond vote and special Board of Education election on March 8, 2022. The District will ask voters to support a district-wide capital project totaling $49,932,000 essential infrastructure for student health, safety and success. The proposed project scope focuses on classroom renovations across all buildings to include new HVAC and building management systems for increased fresh air, filtration, cooling and efficiency, as well as lighting, ceiling, flooring and casework upgrades and replacement. Additional work includes the relocation of the main entrance at Cottage Lane Elementary School, renovation of the Tappan Zee High School auditorium and site work at all four schools. The proposed project would be funded, in part, with $18,000,000 in capital reserve funds. The remaining $31,932,000 would be bonded.

October 1, 2021: Voter-approved capital improvements delayed due to a slowdown in the state review process and construction supply chain issues are on track for Summer 2022 and planning is underway for Summer 2023. “We’ve received approvals from the New York State Department of Education and bidding is slated to begin this fall,” reports School Business Administrator Michael Vespi. “We’ve regained our momentum.” Read the full story here.

May 18, 2021: Voters approved the proposed 2021-22 budget, which contained $2.55M for capital projects at Tappan Zee High School, South Orangetown Middle School, Cottage Lane Elementary School and William O. Schaefer Elementary School, including:

  • Construction of a student support center at Tappan Zee High School, a one-stop location for school counseling, social work, prevention counseling and school psychology services
  • Installation of a new clocks/public address/lockdown system at South Orangetown Middle School and Tappan Zee High School
  • Renovation of the sound and audiovisual system in the Tappan Zee High School auditorium
  • Renovation of accessible bathrooms at William O. Schaefer Elementary School
  • Replacement of traditional water fountains with bottle filling stations at William O. Schaefer Elementary School
  • Electrical upgrades to expand capacity districtwide

Due to delays in the New York State Education Department’s review process and construction supply chain issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Summer 2021 capital projects as described in the budget newsletter can no longer be performed according to the schedule originally envisioned. We anticipate that these projects may be delayed later into the 2021-22 school year and into Summer 2022.

October 20, 2020: Nearly all of the Summer 2020 Capital Projects are complete! In addition to Phase 2C capital work, our Facilities team completed a number of several in-house projects, including resurfacing of the Tappan Zee High School track and tennis courts, beautification of the public entry to Dutchmen Arena and reconfiguration of the South Orangetown Middle School security and main office suite. Completion of the SOMS Library is scheduled for October 30 and, due to program needs related to hybrid instruction, the Tappan Zee High School cafeteria renovation has been postponed to the winter.

May 26, 2020: Over the past 18 months, District leadership, in collaboration with the District’s Facilities Committee and architecture and engineering firm Clark Patterson Lee, has been focused on developing a Master Capital Plan that is aligned with its strategic goals, as well as long-term financial and program planning, to define, plan and execute capital work.

Voter-approved capital projects (Phase 2C) to address critical infrastructure needs will proceed as scheduled in Summer 2020, in conjunction with in-house projects focused on student health, safety and learning:

Tappan Zee High School

  • Installation of ADA-accessible bleachers and press box
  • Replacement of the track
  • HVAC upgrades to the main gym
  • ADA-accessible bathroom renovations
  • Renovation of the cafeteria serving line and seating area

South Orangetown Middle School

  • Library renovation, expansion and technology upgrades
  • Renovation of the art rooms
  • Reconfiguration of the main office and counseling suite
  • Playground installation
  • ADA-accessible bathroom renovations

Cottage Lane Elementary School

  • ADA-accessible bathroom renovations
  • HVAC upgrades to the cafeteria and main office


What is the process for getting school district capital projects done?

STEP 1: Identify capital improvements to be made.
STEP 2: Secure voter approval for capital reserve fund expenditures to fund improvements.
STEP 3: Hire architecture and engineering (A/E) firm to review project scope and begin design.
STEP 4: Submit project drawings and specifications to the New York State Education Department to receive building permit (work may not be bid or begun until a building permit is in place).
STEP 5: District advertises for bid of construction contracts.
STEP 6: Once bids have been received, A/E or Construction Management firm conducts bidder qualification process.
STEP 7: A/E or Construction Management Firm makes recommendation to the school district Board of Education to award construction contracts.
STEP 8: Board of Education reviews recommendations and awards contracts.
STEP 9: Work begins, typically once summer recess begins to minimize disruption.

How are projects scheduled?
Work projects are grouped together by how long construction is expected to take, how long project design is expected to take, and location to maximize cost-effectiveness and minimize disruption to individual schools.