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Board weighs array of projects totaling more than $9 million

With the new $25 million Niagara Street Elementary School sealed off from the elements, the Niagara Falls School Board turned its attention Thursday to more than $9 million in other possible capital projects.

The board was presented with a schedule to do more than $4.1 million in projects to 13 buildings in the spring and summer.

They include installing two elevators at Hyde Park Elementary School and one each in 60th and 79th street elementary schools and the Community Education Center, the former 24th Street schools.

Most are designed to make all school buildings accessible to disabled students and eliminate health, safety, security and fire protection problems in school buildings.

Some plans call for replacing a number of worn-out shower rooms and modifying others so they can accommodate students with disabilities. No steps or slabs, for example, will block shower room entrances.

Board President Robet Kazeangin Jr. said the board will review the projects and consider a schedule that would put the work out to bid on Jan. 15, receive bids Feb. 28 and approve contracts March 12. Construction would begin April 16 and run through August.

District Business Administrator James J. Ingrasci also presented the board with $5 million in potential projects to consider funding with the $6.3 million it expects to get in state Expanding Our Children's Education and Learning (EXCEL) money.

He suggested the board could use $2.38 million to upgrade technology by purchasing 400 "interactive boards" to be used in classrooms across the district. The computer-controlled boards are like chalk boards that allow teachers and students to move computer-generated words, numbers and other images by the touch of their fingers in working out such things as mathematical problems and exercises in English.

Another $1 million could be used to upgrade the districtwide broadcast system, including cable Channel 21, and move its Information Systems Department from Walnut Avenue to Niagara Falls High School.


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