SANBORN – An $18 million capital project that would fund repair and renovation work at every building in the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District is on the ballot Tuesday.
The project covers an array of items for every school and the bus garage, ranging from roof replacement to new science labs. New roofs for the high school and Edward Town Middle School, which have been described as in a state of “almost emergency,” would be installed next summer, following approval by the State Education Department.
If voters approve the project, design work would begin immediately, with project completion projected for December 2018, school officials said.
Superintendent Daniel Ljiljanich says the project would not create any new tax demands on district property owners. The School Board this year began putting away $100,000 in annual payments in a capital project fund to help cover the bond payments. Some of the funding also could come from the income Niagara-Wheatfield receives as host community for the State Power Authority Project. The state would cover 88 percent of the project cost, according to officials.
The original project as presented by architects Trautman Associates totaled $45 million. The board's capital project committee, however, cut the list to priority items, including those that impact health and safety, handicapped accessibility and energy efficiency.
In a statement on the school district website, Ljiljanich emphasized the importance of the project and said the district “put forth a fiscally sound plan to make these much needed upgrades. We have money that is reserved for these improvements and will require no local share cost to taxpayers. We just ask that our school community come out to vote on November 15th.”
First on the list for 2017 are new roofs for the high school and the middle school. Both roofs are more than 20 years old and are leaking in some areas, officials said. Completion of the work is anticipated by next October.
Work costing $4.3 million to the senior high school includes replacement of a roof exhaust fan and skylight, removal of an abandoned tank for the swimming pool and replacement of pool heating equipment. Other upgrades target the clock system, security cameras, communication systems and telephones, exterior and interior door replacement, replacement of the carpet, air handling and ventilation and hot water base pumps.
Work costing $5.7 million at Edward Town includes the replacement of a concrete pad and concrete mosaic, new communication systems/phones, chimney repair, classroom and nurse’s office renovation, staircase repairs and improvements to ventilation, boiler system and hot water base pumps.
Work at the district's three elementary schools and bus garage includes:
Residents can vote from noon to 8 p.m. in the Adult Learning Center, 2292 Saunders Settlement Road.
Photo Source: Niagara Wheatfield Central School District