Fairport for the Future 2023 FAQ

What is on the ballot for the October 12 vote?

Fairport for the Future will have TWO propositions on the ballot in October:

How can I procure an absentee ballot?

Voter Eligibility

To be eligible to vote on the Capital Improvement Project on October 12, a person must meet the following requirements:

Voters do not have to own property in the school district. Voter registration is not required. Voters do not have to be a parent or have children in the school district.

Voters must provide one proof of residency such as a driver’s license, a non-driver ID card, voter registration card, or utility bill. Each voter is also required to sign his or her name and address.

Absentee Ballots

Residents unable to vote on the Capital Improvement Project on October 12 because of disability, illness, or travel may request applications for absentee ballots by contacting the District Clerk at (585) 421-2010 or via email at sarah.driscoll@fairport.org. Ballots must be returned to the District Clerk by 5 p.m. on October 12, 2023, the day of the vote.

Why are there two propositions on the ballot?

The Board of Education and District administrators developed Fairport for the Future with these main goals in mind:

Adherence to those goals, along with intense stakeholder engagement and public input, led to Fairport for the Future's Proposition 1, which will have NO TAX IMPACT TO RESIDENTS.

At the May 31, 2023 meeting, the Board charged the Superintendent with developing a second proposition, which would allow the community to vote on funding for a new track and field facility to replace Fairport High School’s existing facility. 

In its decision, the Board cited an outpouring of support by members of the community for an improved track and field facility, and noted that our student athletes are at a disadvantage in practice and competition because of the antiquated state of Fairport’s track. Advocates for the track and field program expressed that track is a sport that is accessible to all students. This interscholastic activity supports more than 120 student athletes each season at both the high school and modified levels.

Proposition 2 WILL HAVE A TAX IMPACT TO RESIDENTS. That impact is expected to be a cost of approximately $39 annually over the span of 15 years for a home worth $200,000. That number is subject to change as the District explores funding streams and use of other reserve monies.

What happens if one proposition passes and the other fails?

Voters have the choice to vote either “yes” or “no” on both Proposition 1 and Proposition 2.

The enactment of Proposition 2 (track and field renovations) is dependent on the passage of Proposition 1 (updating Fairport High School). 

If Proposition 1 is not passed, Proposition 2 will not be enacted, regardless of whether it passed on its own or did not pass. 

If both Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 pass, both will be enacted.

Why do school districts rely on New York State building aid to support capital improvement projects? 

New York State has continued to demonstrate a commitment to support educational infrastructure through school building aid. Building aid, enacted through law as a reimbursable aid, is available for voter approved-projects involving new school building construction, additions, and alterations/modernization of existing buildings. In fact, the State has enacted law throughout the years to create financial incentives for schools to ensure that their facilities are adequate to educate students. Any unforeseen changes to the way New York State reimburses aid to schools would affect Districts statewide and would have to be managed at the State level. 

How did the District arrive at the $0 tax increase and $39/year tax increase numbers?

Proposition 1 has a projected cost of $36.35 million. The District plans to use $18.8 million from the Capital Reserve Fund to pay down the cost of the project. We estimate that the District’s total debt from this project will equal approximately $24.68 million, and that Building Aid from New York State will cover that expense, leading to an estimated tax impact to Fairport residents of $0.

Proposition 2 is estimated to cost approximately $9.47 million. The District will use another $1.6 million from the Capital Reserve Fund to offset the cost, and expects to incur $11.1 million to complete the project. The sole project on Proposition 2 is the track and field relocation and reconstruction project, and it is NOT eligible for New York State Building Aid. Because the project is ineligible for that aid, residents can expect a tax impact of $39 a year on homes valued at $200,000 for 15 years.

Why does Proposition 1 authorize “the levy of a tax” if this proposal will have no additional tax impact on local residents?

Pursuant to NYS law, a capital project proposition must include authorization to levy a tax, as well as a project description, a statement of the maximum estimated cost of the project and bond authorization. However, the District intends to (1) utilize its Capital Building Reserve Funds to pay down the cost of the project, and (2) apply Building Aid from New York State to pay debt service on the proposed bonds, leading to a ZERO tax impact to Fairport residents for Proposition I.

What are the themes of both propositions in Fairport for the Future 2023

In previous years, there were more students enrolled at FHS. Why does Fairport High School need more classrooms for fewer enrolled students?

The District’s continued dedication to supporting students in a growing number of fields has reduced the number of available classrooms, including in the core academic areas. The addition of five technology-dedicated classrooms in the proposed Science, Technology, Engineering and Math wing will help address the reintroduction of the ninth-grade student to FHS, and will also FHS’ technology and engineering programs with modern curriculum and standards. The proposed renovation of the library will add three classroom spaces, along with new breakout and collaboration rooms. 

Some of the mitigating factors requiring additional space in order to comfortably and efficiently welcome ninth-graders FHS includes:

Updated STEM facilities/classrooms will support the following programs:

How is Fairport for the Future different than the referendum that was voted down in December 2022?

Fairport for the Future Proposition 1 DOES include much of the scope of work that was proposed in the December 2022 Capital Improvement Project, including a new suite of technology classrooms and a renovated library with additional classroom space at Fairport High School. The plan will also update the school’s tennis courts and expand staff and community parking. 

Proposition 2 focuses solely on the Fairport High School track and field facility, which was originally part of the proposed 2022 project. In Fairport for the Future, the track and field plans will be separate from the work done on the Fairport High School academic building. 

What is being done to the elementary and middle school facilities?

Work outlined in the voter-approved 2019 Fairport Forward project is ongoing at our elementary and middle schools as of Summer 2023, and will complete the District's suites of new Main Offices and secure vestibules, as well as renovating technology classroom spaces in Johanna Perrin and updated boiler systems at Northside. Our Facilities department constantly assesses and addresses repair issues and building needs at each of our schools as they develop using funds from the annual Capital Budget that is part of the yearly school budget.

The Board of Education and District administration are committed to the maintenance and modernization of our learning environments. Phase II of Fairport for the Future will feature renovations and facilities planning work at our elementary and middle schools. Phase II will be developed over the coming years with collaboration and input from community members and is completely separate from Fairport for the Future 2023.

Why is the capital project vote held in October and not in May with the annual budget vote?

New York State education law requires that school districts present a separate proposition for capital improvement projects. In addition, capital projects draw on a different funding stream at the state level (state building aid) than the annual school budget. We also are proposing the use of existing capital building reserve dollars as indicated in the proposition resolution.

Districts may - and sometimes do - have capital project propositions on the same ballot (separate proposition) as the annual school budget in May. However, capital project planning and development play a large role in determining a voter referendum date. Fall/winter vote dates factor in the time needed for design work, state education submission and review, bidding, and construction. Voting in October gives construction crews much-needed time to complete work across multiple summers while school is not in session. This reduces disruption to our programming during the school year.