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SCHOOL FORUMS TO DETAIL BORROWING $50 MILLION

The Niagara Falls Board of Education has scheduled 13 public forums to explain why it wants voter permission to borrow $50 million to build an elementary school and to renovate and repair other buildings.

The first session will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Geraldine J. Mann Elementary School on 95th Street. Three more will be held Tuesday: at 6:15 p.m. in 79th Street Elementary School and at 6:30 p.m. in Hyde Park Elementary School and Gaskill Middle School. A fifth session will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Niagara Street Elementary School.

Judy Gregory, a district community relations official, said the 85-year-old Niagara Street School, which would require about $15 million in renovations to meet current safety codes, needs to be replaced.

Nicholas E. Marchelos, the district's support services administrator, said school officials concluded tearing down the old school and constructing a state-of-the-art facility at about the same cost would be preferable.

Officials also said district buildings need more than $30 million in improvements and repairs to meet state health and safety standards and to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Gregory listed the cost at $4.9 million at 66th Street School, $4.76 million at Niagara Falls High School, $3.2 million at both Kalfas Elementary and Gaskill Middle schools, $2.8 million at LaSalle Middle School and more than $1 million at Niagara Middle School, Hyde Park, Mann and 79th Street elementary schools, and the Community Education Center on 24th Street.

A referendum on funding the projects will be held from noon to 9 p.m. Dec. 14. People who are not registered to vote may register from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 22 in Niagara Falls High School, 4455 Porter Road.

Superintendent Carmen A. Granto said borrowing the money will have no impact on the property tax levy.

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