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Springville-Griffith Institute Board discusses capital projects, five-year plan

SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education will soon begin discussions regarding the district’s capital improvement projects.

But, like most of the districts throughout New York state, funding remains the district’s most pressing concern, according to discussion that took place during the board’s meeting on Dec. 11.

Scott Jones, owner of Gordon Jones Associates Architects in Williamsville, said the district is facing an estimated $28.5 million worth of capital improvement projects, distributed throughout all of its facilities.

This monetary figure is based on 2014 dollars, an approximate $3.5 million increase from when the same projects were first presented to the district in 2010, as part of the state’s mandated five-year plan study for all districts.

Jones said that such studies are necessary, because it gives districts the chance to keep current on their infrastructure needs. He said that, while Springville facilities are in relatively good shape, some things do need to be taken care of.

S-GI Board members were presented with a summary of priority projects, prior to the meeting. Board Member Joan Kelly asked why some projects had no financial estimates listed. Jones replied that those projects were once listed as top priority, but are no longer classified as such.

In one example, football locker room lockers were once listed as top priority, but have since been removed from that designation. Some portions of the electrical system at the middle school were also removed.

School Business Administrator Ted Welch said that many school districts have recently passed levies and bonds, but the S-GI Board did not discuss presenting such an issue to district voters.

The board said that it anticipates losing as much as $100,000 in state aid in 2013. Board President Mel Williams asked if the district has any noncompliant issues within the district, such as those mandated infrastructure requirements monitored by the state.

“Yes, but that’s not abnormal,” Jones said, adding that many districts address their needs slowly, each year, chipping away at one to two annually.

Springville will soon be converting the high school heating system, a project that the board said should save a good deal of money for the district.

Superintendent Paul Connelly said that S-GI remains in relatively good financial shape, unlike some other districts.

Another Western New York district recently announced that it would become insolvent within 18 months, due to lack of reserves. Connelly said that, to rectify its current situation, that district would have to raise its tax levy by 22 percent.

In other board news:
– The board approved the termination of the substitute nurse position, currently held by Kelly Fedeson.

– The appointments of Beth Lewandowski as a part-time English teacher, Alanna Letson as a student teacher and Leah Mastrorilli as a long-term substitute school social worker were approved.

– Several non-teaching appointments were made, during the meeting, including Michael Hale as a teacher aide; Kelly Josker as a clerk typist, teacher aide and school monitor and Tammy Riter as a teacher aide.

– The board entered into executive session for personnel reasons, though no action was taken.

The second regular board meeting scheduled for Dec. 25 was canceled. The next S-GI Board meeting will be held at Colden Elementary School on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.

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