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Springville schools consider capital improvements

A new gymnasium, relocated library and security improvements rank high among the possibilities for a capital project in the Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District.

The Board of Education heard a presentation from an architect and discussed possibilities Tuesday night. Board members hope to schedule a referendum in December to let voters decide on the project. In the meantime, they will consider changes including constructing a high school gymnasium and converting the existing gymnasium to a library.

“We will continue our conversation at our next meeting in October,” said Allison Duwe, the board’s president.

If the gymnasium becomes a library, the existing library/media center would be used as instructional space and continue to serve as the board’s meeting room.

Building a new gymnasium would force the district to find another use for the current gym, or the district would stand to lose state aid, officials said.

A capital project also would address security and maintenance problems and improve building entrances.

During a discussion on the project’s timeline, six of the seven board members said they prefer a referendum in December.

Michael Connors, however, objected to setting a referendum that early, raising concern about building a gym that might be outdated in 10 years.

“I just think this is getting pushed really quickly so we can have a vote before Christmas,” he said.

The meeting’s public comment session generated feedback from Joan Kelly, a former board member who serves on the District Facilities Review Committee. She urged the board to fix problems as soon as possible.

“My feeling is if it’s necessary, do it now,” she said.

In another matter, the board unanimously approved changing a vacant high school English teaching position from part time to full time. Interim Superintendent Sylvia Root told the board she has had trouble filling the position and believes making it full time will lure more candidates.

“We continue to have issues trying to find the right person,” she said.