By Maria Trivelpiece SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – New York lawmakers agreed to pay an estimated $75 million to the Syracuse City School District to renovate the old Central Tech Building. But once the renovations are completed, the district will have to pay for the upkeep of the school themselves.
Eighty percent of the Syracuse City School District’s funding has come from the state and 15 percent has come from the property taxes revenue. However, tax revenue has been stagnant or declining in the past two decades, which has made it difficult for the district to fund their schools. The addition of a new school will add more costs, but the district’s CFO, Suzanne Slack, said that they have been planned for.
“There will be a tuition charge to the districts sending their students here,” she said. “Folks coming from other school districts, their district will pay a tuition rate to help cover the cost of educating those children.”
Attempts were made in the past to renovate the Central Tech building, but with little success. The new school will be a science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics high school. It was part of the Syracuse SURGE initiative developed by Mayor Ben Walsh. Slack said the amount of collaboration on this project will make the renovation successful.
“In the past, it was primarily a project to renovate the school alone,” she said. “What’s different this time is it’s really tied into a bigger picture of school districts, city, and county initiative.”
Slack said she believes that the school will become so popular that they will fill up all possible openings. And, because of this projected success, Slack said paying for the new building will be manageable.
“When you build something very successful, people are knocking on your door to get in,” she said. “And what’s going to be different about this STEAM school.”