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Port Chester Proposes $63 Million In School Additions, Renovation Projects

A new addition would be added to Port Chester Middle School so that all fifth graders can be taught together there. On Dec. 1, residents will be asked to approve $63 million in renovations including an addition and new gymnasium at the high school.
A new addition would be added to Port Chester Middle School so that all fifth graders can be taught together there. On Dec. 1, residents will be asked to approve $63 million in renovations including an addition and new gymnasium at the high school. Photo Credit: File photo

This story has been updated.

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Residents of the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District will be asked to approve $63 million in major renovation projects including additions to Port Chester High School and Middle School.

New construction throughout the district, discussed by the Port Chester Board of Education during meetings this summer, would start in April 2017 and conclude by December 2018. Because Port Chester has seen a dramatic, steady rise in enrollment, state aid for the project is expected to total at least $34 million, according to Port Chester Schools Superintendent Edward Kliszus, who detailed the costs on this district video.

Since 2004, Port Chester's student enrollment has grown 25 percent from 3,608 to 4,531, with enrollment expected to rise to 4,715 in the next five years. High school enrollment is approaching 1,600 students.

The Port Chester Board of Education plans to vote Oct. 6 seeking voter approval to borrow nearly $30 million for the project, in phases. A public bond vote is expected to be held on Dec. 1.

The project includes an addition to Port Chester Middle School, allowing the entire fifth-grade to be move there and reduce crowding at the elementary schools. New media centers are proposed at the JFK Magnet and Park Avenue schools.

The Port Chester High School addition would include three new science rooms, 11 more classrooms, digital art and technology areas, band and choral rooms and a new gymnasium seating 600 people.

The preliminary estimated annual property tax cost to the average home assessed at $462,387 would be about $196, school officials estimated this week.

Factors that project continued enrollment growth, according to the school district, are rising birth rates, immigration trends and the closing of nearby Catholic/private schools. Also, there are about 400 new units of housing recently completed or under construction in Port Chester and another 730 units proposed at the former United Hospital site.

"Our children can succeed as well as anyone else can in Westchester if they have the same resources and we give them the same opportunities,'' Superintendent Kliszus told the school board.

Additional links to details about the project and cost estimates can be found here.

The newest chart detailing taxpayer impact is linked below:

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