School officials discuss new capital project

The Fredonia Central School District’s Capital Project Committee has announced its proposals for what should happen with funds for a new EXCEL-aided endeavor.

Director of Instruction Joseph Reyda was on hand at a recent board of education meeting to explain the potential scope of a new wave of updates to the main campus using the latest EXCEL funds that will be given to the district.

Reyda said the capital project will cost around $3,350,000.

“Why were we only given $3.35 million when other districts surrounding us get $16 to $17 million?” board member Edith Byrne asked.

“The simplest way to describe it would be that it is applied in general terms the same way regular aid is applied,” Business Administrator John Forbes said.

“So, we’re rich on paper again?” Byrne asked.

“Theoretically, yes,” Forbes said.

As part of the interior work, Reyda said the committee recommended the following: re-sealing the moisture barrier at the interior pool wall; replacing network closets throughout the district, which Reyda said would result in the ability to process more data and create a wireless network; replacing the high school built-up roof and insulation; and mechanical and code corrections to the high school lobby elevator.

Other recommended projects include: replacing hardware on doors in the auditorium, gymnasium and cafeteria; replacing the ventilation system in the presentation room; replacing clocks throughout the district so that all of them tell the same time; and installing a wireless microphone system for the stage and communication use in the auditorium.

“We also have a list of alternates,” Reyda said. “We tried to gather some alternates in case (prices) came in better than expected. We would then be able to add certain other projects to this.”

Alternates include the replacement of vinyl composite tiling and carpet flooring in select rooms and the public address and telephone systems.

As part of exterior renovations, the board was given two options: replacing the worn and patchy running track or creating a new sports complex, which would include an international-sized track, a grass football and soccer field and a concession stand with bathrooms.

The group spearheading what is being called the Fredonia Sports Complex Initiative will be present at the next meeting to persuade the board to accept the latter option.

“The group is raising money to pay the entire local share of this (sports complex) project,” Reyda said. “Using the exterior part of the EXCEL project, it’s only going to fund about $535,000. Essentially, that’s going to cover the concession stand and bathrooms. The district is going to need to bond the remaining $1.8 million over a 15-year span with 95 percent of the project aidable at 82.7 percent building aid.”

If the board decides to present the sports complex option to the public for a referendum vote, the anticipated local net cost will be $600,000, or $40,000 per year for 15 years.

“We would call our school attorney and sit down with (the Sports Complex Group) and see if there is a way to do this, put a resolution forth that would include this project that would safeguard the district (from a tax increase),” Superintendent Paul DiFonzo said. “If we go forward in another direction and put this out to the community, we have to safeguard them and that’s what we need to look at next.”

Also during the meeting, the board approved Danielle Schmidt for the position of school psychologist, effective Sept. 23.

It was announced that Elementary School Principal Amy Piper was awarded the New York State Association of Educational Office Professionals’ Administrator of the Year Award. Piper will be presented with the award at the association’s conference on Oct. 18 in Lake Placid. She previously won the award at the county level last June.

The board entered into executive session to discuss pending negotiations with the Fredonia Teachers Association and the Salaried Support Staff Association.

The next meeting is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library.

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