2019 Capital Project

Two elementary girls in plaid at a cafeteria table.On Feb. 26, 2019 residents of the Florida Union Free School District approved a  $7.9 million capital improvement project to address necessary building repairs, enhance learning spaces, and to make Golden Hill Elementary and S.S. Seward Institute safer and more secure.

After months of research and consideration, key repairs and improvements were identified and put into the plan, including the addition of safety vestibules; upgraded alarm systems; S.S. Seward library and locker room renovations; the restoration of athletic fields; parking lot paving; and air conditioning in school cafetoriums. The project also includes an array of infrastructure repairs to masonry, flooring and lighting.

Capital Project by the Numbers

The capital project addresses safety and security, infrastructure, and instructional spaces at the districts three buildings.

Here’s how the spending is allocated:

a pie chart divided into three sections


  • Golden Hill Elementary:  $3,942,500


  • S.S. Seward Memorial Building: $141,000


  • S.S. Seward Institute:  $3,902,304


The money comes from three sources:

  • New York State Building Aid: 66.1 percent ($5.2 million)
  • Capital Reserves:  $2 million
  • Local share:  $785,804

Local Property Tax Impact:  $11 per year

For taxpayers with STAR and a home assessed at $200,000 the capital project’s approval resulted in an $11 annual increase in property taxes. The tax impact is lower – $8 per year – for those with Senior STAR.

Taxpayers will see the increase for 5 years, then the tax impact will fall below current rates as the district retires existing debt.


The capital project addresses three priorities:

  • Safety and Security
  • Learning Spaces
  • Infrastructure

Golden Hill Elementary

  • New security vestibule
  • Reconstruct grass field and clay infields
  • Air conditioning in cafetorium
  • Replace corridor locksets with high secure locks
  • Replace exterior doors
  • Repave entry drive, parking lot and drop off
  • Upgrade kitchen and serving line equipment
  • Replace windows at 1990 addition
  • Paint gymnasium
  • Replace fire alarm panel and upgrade system
    Golden Hill Elementary Total: $3,942,500

S.S. Seward Institute

  • New security vestibule
  • Air conditioning in cafetorium
  • Renovate locker rooms
  • Create small group spaces in library
  • Replace corridor locksets with high secure locks
  • Repave entry drive, parking lot, and drop off
  • Replace fire alarm panel and upgrade system
  • Replace/refurbish 7 HVAC units
  • Replace 6th grade lockers
    S.S. Seward Institute Total: $3,942,500

S.S. Seward Memorial Building

  • Replace sidewalks
  • Infrastructure repairs
    Memorial Building Total: $141,000

Capital Project FAQs

Q: How did the district decide what work to do?

Much of the work was identified in the district’s 2015 Building Condition Survey, a state required inspection by independent engineers and architects. The inspectors made recommendations for repairs and updates, which were used as a guide to prioritize each school’s needs.

Q: How will the capital project affect my property taxes?

State building aid will pay for slightly more than 66 percent ($5.2 million) of the $7.9 million project. The district will also use capital reserve funds ($2 million) to further offset the cost. The average district taxpayer with a home valued at $200,000 will pay about $11 more per year. Those with Senior STAR will pay about $8 more. After five years the tax impact will fall below current rates as the district pays off debt.

Q: What are the safety and security components?

Security vestibules, designed to control and monitor visitors, are included for the entrances of both Golden Hill and S.S. Seward. Door locks throughout the district will be replaced with high security locks and several interior and exterior doors will be replaced. The alarm systems at both schools will also be upgraded.

Q: How does the project enhance the educational environment?

Renovations to the S.S. Seward library/media center will reconfigure the balcony and create small group, collaborative learning spaces for students. The installation of air conditioning in the Golden Hill and S.S. Seward cafetoriums will provide climate-controlled areas and an alternative when hot weather makes some classrooms very warm. Physical education locker rooms at S.S. Seward will be refurbished.

Q: Why are improvements needed at Alex F. Paul Field?

Built more than 30 years ago, the field is in need of re-leveling and will be reconfigured to accommodate regulation soccer, baseball, and softball. The fences will be replaced, grass planted and clay replenished, and ADA improvements made so everyone can access and enjoy the field.

Q: When will the work be done?

Most of the work will be scheduled during the summers of 2020 and 2021 to minimize disruption to classes. The work is expected to be completed by fall 2021.