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North Tonawanda School Board gains, loses

The North Tonawanda School Board welcomed two new members Tuesday and unexpectedly said goodbye to another at its annual reorganization meeting.

Newly elected board members Martin Burruano and Jeffrey Glatz were sworn into office to begin serving three-year terms they won in the May election, while member Leon Szczerbinski, a city fire captain, submitted a letter of resignation to the board with no explanation. The resignation was effective immediate. Szczerbinski had just completed the first year of the three-year board term he won just over a year ago.

The new board elected Christine Porto as its new president, succeeding Scott Shultz, who lost his bid for re-election to the board in May. The board also elected David Guido vice president, a post member David Rechin held over the past year.

In its first act of district business for 2007-08, the board took steps to fix a water seepage problem in the Meadow Elementary School roof.

The board hired Jamison Roofing to do a temporary repair to the roof at a cost that could range from $50,000 to $70,000.

Action came after a report from Buildings and Grounds Superintendent Steve Scordato.

To prevent serious damage to the roof and the building, Scordato told the board he wanted it to approve a temporary fix that would secure the building for up to two years so the district would have time to come up with a permanent plan to replace the roof.

"We want to tear out about 1,800 square feet of roof and replace it with a new vapor barrier, new insulation, new roofing and then seal it off. This would only be an interim repair that would hold us for an 18-month to a two-year period. That'll give us time to address the entire roof system there."

He said there has been a leak that has penetrated a specific area of the roof which can be seen through thermal imaging pictures he had taken at a cost of $1,400.

He saids it appears three roofs have been placed on the school -- one on top of the other -- over the past 30-plus years, and it is retaining water because of a leak which district officials can't locate.

However, he said he can tell what part of the roof is leaking because certain areas show up very wet on the thermal images.

He said all three layers of roof -- a total of about 4-to-6 inches thick -- will have to come off before the temporary cover is put down and sealed.

In other action, the board hired Anthony Ruffolo, a sixth-grade teacher, as district swimming coach after several parents and students complained the board had yet to appoint anyone to the position.

One parent, Susanne Parish, said Ruffolo had been left off the list of coaches by the board and that the parents and their children -- about 15 of them -- showed up to support him. She said everyone related to the team wanted Ruffolo back because he is such a good coach. The coaches salary figure was not made available in the board meeting business packet handed out to the press.


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