Mayor Miner and Superintendent Contreras Announce JSCB Legislation Signed by Governor Cuomo
New Joint Schools Construction Board Bill Provides Transition to Phase II, New Board Composition, and Authorizes $300 Million in Financing for up to 20 Projects
Mayor Stephanie A. Miner and Superintendent of Schools Sharon L. Contreras today announced that legislation beginning the second phase of the Joint Schools Construction Board (JSCB) was signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The new phase II legislation will codify the board composition into state law and authorize financing for up to 20 renovation projects.
“We are excited to have the legislative process finished in Albany so the real work of rebuilding our schools can begin,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. “Since my administration took office, we have made completing the first phase of school renovations a major priority and we have successfully seen that happen in four of our highest need schools. I look forward to working with the new board to make these renovations a reality.”
The new JSCB legislation brings several changes to the new JSCB including codifying the board composition, which is currently set forth by an inter-municipal agreement between the school district and the City, into state law. The new board will include the Mayor, the Superintendent, two members appointed by the Mayor, two members appointed by the Superintendent, and one joint appointment. This composition reflects the Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board and gives equal control to the City and the School District.
"This is a tremendous day for the Syracuse City School District and our students, teachers, staff and parents,” said Superintendent of Schools Sharon L. Contreras. “With the Joint Schools Construction Board legislation being signed into state law, we are ready to begin the work of rebuilding this next round of schools and creating 21st century educational learning environments. I look forward to working very closely with our new JSCB board and beginning the renovations on our next slate of schools."
According to a 2012 report from the Conference of Big 5 School Districts, the average building in the Syracuse City School District is 72 years old. Five of the district’s thirty five buildings were built before 1920. The new JSCB bill authorizes $300 million in funding for up to 20 projects. This funding is estimated to cover approximately one third of the district’s identified building repair needs. The legislation also includes language to require the Board to value engineer any individual projects that go over 10% ($30 million) of the total funding allocation.
“Our community is plagued by aging infrastructure and we cannot afford to let that hamper the educational opportunities for our students,” added Mayor Miner. “The new JSCB will be a critical investment in the future of the City of Syracuse.”
The bill, prime sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco and Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, passed both houses of the state legislature during the 2013 session. Senator Dave Valesky and Assemblyman Sam Roberts were both cosponsors.