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West Valley board looks at consolidating sports, covers capital improvements

WEST VALLEY — The West Valley Board of Education held its regular meeting on March 24, during which the budget, consolidated athletics and the proposed capital project were addressed. The meeting opened with Superintendent Eric Lawton reporting to the board that the district received a letter from Senator Catharine Young, offering facts to the district about the New York State Senate’s one-house budget resolution that recently passed.

The consensus with board members is for Lawton to respond to the letter, thanking Young for everything she has tried to do for the district and hopes to continue to do.

In his monthly report to the board, Lawton informed board members that he has spoken with the superintendents for Pioneer, Franklinville, Ellicottville and Springville-Griffith Institute school districts about the possibility of combining athletic programs with West Valley. Each school was interested in having a meeting with the district. Athletic directors will be invited to attend the meeting, as well. Lawton also asked the board about discarding the football equipment from the district’s storage. In response, board members asked for an inventory of all the equipment and will decide on how the equipment will be discarded, at the next meeting.

District Business Official Ann O’Brien reported on the school’s need to purchase a new plow truck; the current truck was built in 2001. O’Brien said she expects the price to be reasonable, because the purchase is on a state contract.

O’Brien went on to discuss the final section of the 2014-2015 school budget plan. The section discussed in this meeting related to transportation and employee benefits. After the meeting, O’Brien said she could not pinpoint what the final budget numbers and property tax levy rates would be, because the district is still waiting for the state to finalize its budget, for the coming year.

“We have an idea of what the final numbers could be, but until we know what our state aid will be, those numbers could change,” said O’Brien. According to O’Brien, there will be no major differences between the current school year’s budget and next year’s, although West Valley does hope to purchase a new, 65-passenger bus.

The final item on the meeting’s agenda was finalizing the proposal for the capital improvement projects in 2014- 2015.

Some of the purposed projects at the main building include a new roof on a portion of the elementary school, renovations to the auditorium, a new communications and clock system, retractable bleachers and other technology and maintenance upgrades.

The district bus garage would also receive improvements, including new higher-efficient lighting fixtures, new operable windows with screens and asbestos abatements for both projects. Outside of the buildings, the proposal includes track resurfacing and repair, reconfiguration of the stairs and handicapped ramp at the 1936 building main front entry, filling an existing basement stair and retaining wall, reconfiguring the retaining wall and sidewalk adjacent to the gym, sidewalk repairs and installation of fencing at the baseball and softball fields.

The WVCS Board of Education will hold its next regular meeting on April 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the school library.


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