After voters say yes, C-R gets ready for building work


By Jim Poole

After more than a year of pauses, Cobleskill-Richmondville can get started on its building project.
Voters approved the project, 469-251, in polling last Wednesday.
The $14.1 million project includes heating and cooling improvements, roof work, classroom and cafeteria renovations, parking lot and sidewalk work and more in all four C-R schools.
Troubled by the pandemic and weak economy, voters might have rejected the project, school officials feared.
“We were pleasantly surprised,” said Superintendent Carl Mummenthey. “But there was nothing super controversial, no new construction or [artificial turf]” which was in original plans.
At Monday’s school board meeting, President Bruce Tryon also welcomed voters’ approval.
“Your positive support solidifies my sentiment that this community truly cares about the quality of the education that we here at C-RCS strive to put forth day after day,” he said.
Engineers will do the design and technical drawings, which will be sent to the State Education Department for approval, Mr. Mummenthey said.
State approval may take as long as nine months, and “we hope its October or November,” he added.
Assuming State Ed approves the plans, bidding would be in December and January, with work beginning in June 2022 and finishing a year later.
Voting last Wednesday was at the high school for safety reasons instead of C-R’s usual two polls at Golding and Radez schools.
For further safety, voters could also cast absentee ballots, and Mr. Mummenthey said 250––about one-third of the turnout––did so.
“It’s a different world now,” he said. “It’s nice to see more people have an opportunity to vote. With more voters, we have a better sense of the pulse of the community.”
In its original planning stage, the project approached $40 million, including a separate proposition for artificial turf on the high school football/soccer field.
C-R slimmed down the project, however, to $32.7 million, and then made it more palatable to voters by dividing it into three phases.
The $14.1 million is the first phase. The second phase, $13.2 million will go to a public vote in the spring of 2022, and the third phase, $5.4 million, will go up for a vote in the spring of 2024.