At an over 3-hour workshop session Wednesday night, the Brighton Board of Education hashed out a laundry list of possible items to put on an upcoming 2019 bond issue, which will likely be in the $48 million range.

The board went to the public with a bond issue back in 2012
that was approved, but some items were left out because the bond would not have had a chance of passing. A good percentage of the items that were removed from the 2012 package had to do with infrastructure: parking lots, interior improvements and so forth – things that didn’t pertain directly to academics and that could be deferred to a later date. The board discussed both big-ticket and small items last night, and voted separately on whether to include each particular item in the bond issue.

A few of the big-ticket items certain to be included in the bond issue are STEAM Centers –an acronym which means Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. STEAM Centers are proposed for Maltby Intermediate, Scranton Middle School and Brighton High School - all lumped together - at $10 million. Also given the nod: a new parking lot at Scranton Middle School for $2.6 million, and one that might be considered controversial: a cover, or “dome”, at the High School field, priced anywhere from $1.5 to $3.5 million.

Supt Greg Gray says that the problem now is that they can’t utilize the outdoor facilities four months of the year, whereas covering the practice field or the main football field with a dome in the winter would allow it to be used all year long.

Board member John Conely warned that if a dome is included in the bond issue it might not be approved by the voters, since some in the public would regard it as frivolous and unnecessary. At any rate, the shopping list will be pared down and refined at subsequent meetings. Right now, nothing is cast in stone, and the board is not expected to make a final decision on the items to be included in the bond issue until its December meeting. An important aspect of the bond issue is that it will not result in an increase in property owners' taxes, but will merely extend the length of the district's current debt. A date for the 2019 bond issue to be placed on the ballot hasn't been set. (TT)