South Lewis School's Capital Project Options Discussed - 4/5/2017

South Lewis School's Capital Project Options Discussed-4/5/2017

GLENFIELD - A public meeting was held Wednesday evening, March 29, at Glenfield Elementary School gymnasium regarding the next capital project for the South Lewis School District. Discussed at the meeting were two options, which will ultimately decide the fate of both Glenfield and Port Leyden Elementary buildings. Option A includes the renovation of all facilities and will keep Port Leyden and Glenfield open. The estimated cost for Option A is between $39-41 million, which includes $17-18 million in funds for the Middle/High School and $22-23 million for the two elementary buildings. Option B will close the elementary buildings, which will send all students to one K-12 campus by the start of the 2021 school year. This option will cost more, estimated between $40-45 million dollars total, including $30-33 million for the new elementary addition and $10-12 million for all other Middle/High School upgrades. The biomass facility is included for upgrades in both options. The last two projects have not included any kind of upgrades for the elementary buildings. If the Board of Education goes with Option A and the public votes in favor of it, both buildings would receive maintenance work, such as roof repair, sidewalk fixtures, electrical work, window repair and upgrades to the playgrounds. In order for the Board to expend any funds, the public has to approve it. In 2012, the Board decided to close Constableville Elementary, which was a non-fund issue. In order for Glenfield and Port Leyden Elementary to close, the public must vote yes or no, because this is a capital project. Here is an estimated timeline for either option: June 2017, Board of Education makes a decision; November 2017, public vote; December 2018, Designís submitted to State Education Department; December 2019: State Education needs 6-12 months to approve the designs; January 2020, construction bids are negotiated; February 2020, construction begins; August 2021, Project complete. Both pros and cons were examined at the meeting. The pros for a K-12 campus include a more balanced class size, and better cost efficiencies, such as energy, plowing, sewage etc. The cons include the loss of two community schools, empty structures and student/family/staff adjustments. If the Board chooses the option to build a new facility and the public votes in favor of it, the new elementary addition would extend off the District Office and the Library. And if that option is chosen, the current baseball field would be lost, as well as practice fields and all land at both elementary buildings. Charts and demonstrations at the presentation showed possible land purchases across the road of the junior high school in Turin, near the Christian Community Center, and behind the bus garage. This land would be purchased to restore practice and playing fields. Another public meeting about the project will be held at Port Leyden Elementary School on April 11, and the final one will take place at the high school on May 23. Both meetings will get underway at 6:30 p.m.