Before discussion of the upcoming bond proposal could get underway, an anonymous Rye donor made a surprising gift and challenge to the Rye City School district.
Attorney Julian Wise said a Rye couple has decided to donate $1.7 million to the Rye City School district for the construction of a new field house.
"This is an extraordinarily generous gift to the district," said school board president Laura Slack. "We are humbled and grateful by it."
In an earlier capital project estimate by Triton Construction, the cost of the new field house and relocated athletic field was estimated at approximately $4.7 million. Through attorney Wise, the anonymous donors have challenged the district to raise the additional monies: $2.3 million for construction of the field house and $1 million for relocation of the athletic fields.
Slack said she hopes the donation, which facilitates the capital upgrade project without an additional burden on taxpayers, will inspire the community to donate the balance necessary for construction of the field house.
The donor will trust monetary pledges in good faith toward the balance to move forward with the donation and has placed no time limit upon the district to succeed in raising the money. Slack said efforts to assemble a fundraising campaign will begin as soon as possible.
The field house project and other capital projects were cut from the original capital upgrade proposal originally presented in July by KSQ Architects after members of the school board became concerned Rye residents might be more likely to approve a more conservative bond proposal at the upcoming Dec. 13 election.
Voters will decide on a nearly $20 million bond referendum.
The July architect's proposal included the upgraded science laboratories, reconfigured classroom space and refurbished locker rooms in the streamlined bond proposal to be decided in two weeks, but also a new, relocated athletic field house and other capital improvements.
The Board will convene its next regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6 and will host a Bond Fair the following evening, Wednesday, Dec. 7.
The bond referendum vote takes place Tuesday, Dec. 13.