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Building needs assessed with eye toward bond issue

Cheektowaga Central School Board members will be looking at the need for new roofs, parking lots and other big- and little-ticket items this year for a possible bond issue.

"A lot of things are becoming dated," said Assistant Superintendent Dennis M. Kane. "Some stuff is original, like our water service, which is 50 years old."

The School Board is reviewing a report on the conditions of the three school campuses, with the needs divided into three categories.

Top priority items are deemed to be necessary for health, safety and handicapped accessibility reasons. Middle priority items include major system replacement and repairs, including structural, roofing and exterior masonry work. The lowest priority items are desirable but could be considered at a later time.

"If we did everything on this conditions survey, it would be $9.3 million," Kane said. "The numbers came in kind of higher than we expected for the amount of things that needed to be done."

Board President Brian Gould said the School Board is not planning to spend that much money on the repairs and renovations. He said board members will be visiting each school building in the coming months and looking at the facilities and the possible repairs. Board members will not include a facilities bond in the May budget vote.

"At some time after our budget vote we'll take time to go over line by line and see what we saw needs to be done," he said.

Among the items listed in the survey are a new roof on the high school, for $2.25 million, replacing the 1969 air-handling units at Union East for $480,000 and the radiant heat ceiling panels for $170,000.

Other work could include replacing original single-pane windows at Union East for $150,000 and at Pine Hill for $100,000, reconstructing parking lots and drives at the middle/high school campus for $600,000 and paving the north drive and east parking lot at Pine Hill for $100,000 and the bus loop at Union East for $60,000.

The items are included in the district's building condition survey, which was completed in November.

Kane said board members will have to look at the items on the survey and decide if they want to borrow money in a bond to make the repairs, and if they do, how large it would be. The district could receive state aid on repairs that are undertaken through a bond issue, he said.

"It's going to be tough for [the board]. How do you say no to some of these?" Kane said.

The last bond project funded the construction of the Middle School, and there were a number of public meetings on it.


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