Capital bond officially approved by Poughkeepsie school district voters

Morse Elementary School on Mansion Street in Poughkeepsie.

POUGHKEEPSIE – A $99 million rebuilding plan for Poughkeepsie schools was approved on Tuesday.  The plan, which calls for an overhaul of the infrastructure in district buildings, will take place under the approved proposition 1, while cosmetics and instructional programming will see substantial improvements under spending approved in proposition 2.  An overview of the entire plan can be found here.

The turnout at the polls was low with only 1,035 voters casting ballots out of 14,000 eligible voters.  The 7.4 percent of the voters that turned out approved the $48.2 million Proposition 1 by a vote of 737 in favor and 265 no votes.

Proposition 2, a $50.5 million proposal received 705 affirmative votes while 327 votes were cast against the plan.

School Board President Felicia Watson credited the efforts of the district administration for the voter results.“No one would have thought this could have been done, not just because of the pandemic, but even this coming to fruition, so thank you all.” 

Dr. Eric Rosser, in his first year as superintendent, called the passage of the entire plan “a big milestone for the Poughkeepsie City School District to achieve,” while explaining the results at a meeting of the school board on Wednesday night.

Robert McDow, the district’s Interim Finance and Business Official said the approvals are “going to change the way the district looks over the next seven to eight years.”  The entire re-make of the district is estimated to be finalized in the 2027-2028 timeframe, according to McDow, but it may extend into 2029.

Board member Tom O’Neill, a retired City of Poughkeepsie judge, called the vote “monumental” and credited Mayor Rob Rolison and the city’s administration for helping to move the plan forward.  “For the first time in a long time, the city’s administration joined forces and advocated for the passing of the plan.”  Of Rolison joining with Dr. Rosser and the district officials, O’Neill said “It took a lot of guts and a lot of heart,” to advocate for a proposal that results in a tax increase for those in the district.

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