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Work needed on buildings projected at $100 million

More than $100 million in work is needed on Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District buildings, the youngest of which was built in 1964, officials reported this week.

That determination was made after the buildings were examined by engineers from Gordon Jones Associates, an architectural firm that specializes in public school projects.

That 1964 building is Holmes Elementary, one of 13 active schools in the district. In addition, updates and improvements are needed at other district buildings not housing students.

School Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro said that projects totaling about $81 million are needed to address health and safety issues. Among them are aging boilers used to heat buildings.

"If it isn't addressed, it's possible the school wouldn't be able to run without it being fixed," Mondanaro said, referring to Holmes.

District officials will begin meeting to establish priorities and draw up a list of projects to be tackled under the first of what is expected to be a multiple phases.

Mondanaro said that between unspent EXCEL (Expanding Our Children's Education and Learning) aid and the district's capital reserve fund, $40 million worth of work could be undertaken at no cost to taxpayers. The superintendent noted that even if a list of projects goes before voters next May, it still could be years before the work commences.

This year, work began on $5.5 million in projects approved by voters in a 2007 proposition. Those costs were reimbursed by the state.

e-mail: jhabuda@buffnews.com

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