JCHS capital project looks to make 'critical' upgrades

By Kelly McCarthy

October 24, 2013 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 6:12 PM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Johnson City High School is looking to upgrade its science labs, athletic facilities and gymnasium. Those are among the critical updates they list in its capital project that's up for voter approval.

The Board of Education approved Johnson City High School's capital project that will cost $17.8 million.

Improvements will address areas of the school that hasn't had upgrades since 1970.

"The goal of this project is to create an environment for our students and our community that meet 21st century educational standards," said superintendent Mary Kay Frys, "To ensure our students are college and career ready, at no impact to the tax levy for the tax payer."

Original estimates of the capital project were close to $30 million but was lowered to avoid a tax increase. The items that were cut out were mostly outside repairs like paving and drainage that didn't qualify for state aid.

The gymnasium will get new bleachers, entry doors, and a resurfaced floor. The science wing will be replaced with a Science Technology Engineering Mathematics Lab, or a STEM lab.

The school will build a new athletic facility at the High School after damages to Green's Field were caused from the 2011 flood. Johnson City will keep Green's Field as a practice and community location.

"We get asked multiple times every fall, every spring from outside our school districts from our community groups, our youth soccer our youth football and our youth lacrosse as 'can we use your fields'?" said athletic director Eric Race, "Well this is a great opportunity for us to be able to now allow some of our Johnson City youth programs to utilize that space."

Johnson City is holding a public hearing Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. The proposal will go to a vote on Dec.10.

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