Beacon Schools to Propose $26 Million Plan

Also, board names two principals

The Beacon school board will meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Sept. 8) to consider a $26 million capital improvement plan and schedule a public vote for Oct. 26. 

If approved, the proposal would not require a general tax increase, Superintendent Matt Landahl told the board during its Aug. 30 meeting. However, individual taxes may go up or down based on property assessments.

The district would utilize bond funding for $24.4 million, one million from a capital reserve fund and $600,000 from savings.

The proposal includes improvements at all six of the district’s schools, including:

  • Upgrading the television studio facility and science classrooms at Beacon High School;
  • Upgrading art and science classrooms at Rombout Middle School;
  • Relocating the library and media center at Sargent Elementary;
  • Overhauling the play area at South Avenue Elementary;
  • Improving and linking the upper and lower playgrounds at J.V. Forrestal Elementary;
  • Creating an emergency vestibule and making classroom and parking lot improvements at Glenham Elementary.

In addition, the projects would replace boilers and ventilators and make other HVAC improvements at district buildings and replace roofs on some buildings. The running track above Hammond Field would be renovated, and the swimming pool and weight room at Beacon High School improved. 

The district said it would have renderings available at its Sept. 8 meeting and architects will answer questions. School officials also will host information sessions for residents before the vote. Voters most recently approved a $9 million capital improvement project in 2017.

 New principals

The school board last month hired a new principal for South Avenue Elementary and an interim principal at the high school.

Daniel Glenn was most recently the assistant principal at New Paltz Middle School and previously spent 19 years teaching first and second grade in the Newburgh district. He began at South Avenue on Aug. 23 and will earn $118,000 annually. He succeeds Laura Cahill, who left for a position with the Hyde Park district.

The board also appointed Vanessa DeFonce as interim principal at the high school through June 30. A former principal in the Lakeland school district, she served as interim principal at Beacon High School in 2018. She will earn $600 per day but will not receive health care benefits. Elisa Soto, the most recent principal, left to become an assistant superintendent in the Newburgh district.

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