FREDONIA – Voters in the Fredonia Central School District will be asked to go to the polls on Tuesday to decide on a capital project for several improvements to the district.
The EXCEL Building project was presented to members of the Board of Education at the regular meeting held last Tuesday in the school library.
The project would use $3.3 million in New York State EXCEL aid to replace network closets for technology use, replace the roof over the entrance between the high school and elementary school, and replace hardware on the doors in the gymnasium, cafeteria and auditorium.
Funds also would be used to replace clocks throughout the school system, repair the elevator in the high school lobby and make elevator controls compliant with standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ventilation system in the school’s presentation room would also be replaced.
There would also be some outdoor work in the EXCEL project. It would include replacing the current track with an identical new surface in the same location.
Depending on the bidding process, there would be three alternate projects to be funded. The first would be to replace the public address system, the second to replace the telephone system and a third to replace the carpet in the fifth-grade area with vinyl tile.
Voting is scheduled from 2 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday. The project is not expected to have any impact on the local school tax levy.
In his report on school taxes collected, Business Administrator John Forbes said that about 6 percent of school tax bills were not paid and will be turned over to Chautauqua County for collection. The county will reimburse the school district for the unpaid bills and will attempt collection or seek foreclosure on the owners’ properties.
Forbes said this amount is consistent with the amount that has been outstanding for the last several years and is approximately $800,000.
Superintendent Paul DiFonzo said he has been meeting with members of the local group called Fredonia Sports Complex Initiative.
The group is promoting repairs to the school’s athletic fields and buildings in the sports complex area.
They have identified $3.4 million in repairs and renovations that are targeted for the sports area and estimated that, if the repairs are funded by state aid, the local share would be about $600,000.
Initiative members will be approaching School Board members with a plan to help raise the local share through donations and seek a formal project for the improvements. DiFonzo said the group would like to see repairs to the athletic fields without increasing the tax burden to local residents.
High School Principal Todd Crandall announced that the district will be opting out of the English Language Arts Examination, which is based on the new Common Core curriculum. He said the exam is an option this year and that students in 11th grade will instead take the traditional New York State Regents Exam.