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Depew schools to see nearly $15.6 million in improvements, including multisport athletic field

A new synthetic turf athletic field will be coming to the Depew school district to handle baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse.

Bleachers, lights and possibly dugouts at the site of the district's baseball field near Como Park Boulevard also are on tap as part of the $15.6 million capital project voters approved Dec. 13.

There's also the less sexy improvements that are part of the big package like a new roof, heating and ventilation improvements, foundation repairs, a new public address system and renovating the nurse's office at Cayuga Heights Elementary School. Other improvements address health, safety, accessibility and code compliance, heating and plumbing at all three schools, including high school auditorium upgrades. There will also be $20,115 worth of bus garage work, as well as handicapped-accessible walkways and a subsurface storm water management system at the high school.

Voters also authorized establishing a second vehicle capital reserve fund for a maximum of $10 million to buy and finance the purchase of buses and other district vehicles over the next 10 years.

Superintendent Jeffrey R. Rabey said the first proposition totaling $9.2 million is rooted in a five-year facility study that identified district needs. "We're at about an every five-year pace," he said. "It will help us maintain our buildings so that we are not in dire need down the road."

The second proposition, focusing on a full upgrade of athletic fields, creates soccer, lacrosse and baseball fields on athletic turf next to the elementary school, he said. "It allows us to move all of our sports on one campus, where now, we have a varsity baseball field currently in the village of Depew. It consolidates everything and will give us an additional softball diamond."

Within the next few years, Rabey said the district hopes to develop lacrosse, popular at many other area districts, into a varsity sport at Depew instead of just as a club sport.

The projects will not result in any local tax impact on voters, Rabey said, because it will be funded by state building aid and money from the district's Capital Reserve Fund to offset any potential local tax levy obligations. Plus, some of the district's previous debt on earlier projects is expiring.

 

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