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Following several weeks of scrutiny, the Hamburg Central School Board selected an Ithaca architectural firm to develop design plans for proposed school reconstruction.

At Tuesday's meeting, the board approved the appointment of Thomas Associates. Firm representatives will meet with district officials in two weeks to develop a timetable for planning the project, said Superintendent Donald A. Ogilvie.

Thomas Associates will be paid $259,000 based on an estimated project figure of $5 million, Ogilvie said.

The choice followed several months of analysis and study by the district's Reorganization Task Force. Proposed renovations will include "updating the educational design of buildings in addition to addressing the immediate problems of increased enrollment and inadequate space," Ogilvie said. "We'll approach this patiently and attempt to look far enough into the future," he added.

The design study will look at adding and redesigning classrooms to accommodate moving ninth-graders into the high school and relocating sixth-graders to the middle school, which now serves as the junior high school.

Design plans will include how best to use space at the elementary schools, focusing on the Armor, Boston and Charlotte elementary schools due to projected growth in enrollment.

Also anticipated is the reconstruction of the library media center in the Union-Pleasant School.

"The fourth area of the project will be to continue to develop the computer technology program in our district," said Ogilvie.

Once the proposal is developed and approved by the board, plans will be forwarded to the state Education Department and ultimately to district residents for approval in a referendum. "We expect a vote in November, said Ogilvie.

In another matter, guidance counselor Paul Bloom apprised trustees of an ongoing Career and College Counseling Service developed by the counseling center.

Counseling staff have compiled information for students and parents on choosing careers and colleges. Career informational packages, college and financial aid guides, and computerized informational programs are made available to students in planning high school programs and careers. The program also is open to residents who anticipate changes in their careers.

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