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Galway school district looks at building projects

Galway school district looks at building projects

Voters in the Galway Central School District may be asked in December to approve up to $4.8 million

Voters in the Galway Central School District may be asked in December to approve up to $4.8 million in school improvements, according to school officials.

The list of improvements is far shorter than a nearly $37 million plan defeated at the polls in the fall of 2006.

Superintendent of Schools Clifford Moses said the facilities improvement plan now under consideration by the Board of Education includes security improvements as well as roof repairs and updates for bathrooms, locker rooms, libraries and the elementary school cafeteria.

“The school is aging and there are things that are needed,” Moses said. “The proposal at this point is really three plans, and the school board will make the final list for the voters to consider.”

High School Principal Peter Bednarek took the lead with a committee of staff and community representatives in preparing the final three lists of projects that are considered to be most vital.

“We offered our suggestions in the form of three plans involving a wide variety of improvement projects throughout the whole campus,” he said. “There are many issues of fire code compliance and commercial life expectancy for the building that we aim to address.”

The committee took the suggestions from a larger group that last year looked over the campus and prioritized improvements.

The strategic planning committee totaled 60 members, representing special interests including senior citizens, the Parent Teacher Student Association, business owners, sports booster clubs and the population at large.

“The core values and beliefs expressed by the groups were not surprising. They feel the school district is the focal center of the community, and they want to keep it small,” Moses said. “They feel we have a good staff and a good system, but they want things to be done to improve student performance.”

Moses said the proposed improvements do not include large-scale additions to the buildings.

The previous plan called for new classrooms, a gym and a cafeteria.

“There is one suggestion that the gymnasium be expanded, but that may not be supported by the school board,” Moses said.

He said a vote on the final list of improvements cannot be scheduled until consultations with architects and officials at the state Department of Education determine about how much the projects would cost local taxpayers.

“There will be money available when current debt service is retired, and we will be looking to maximize EXCEL aid,” he said.

EXCEL aid is available for specific improvements to school facilities.

Bednarek will make a full presentation on the list of plans that have been proposed during the school board meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

He said construction could begin next year.

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