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SCHOOL BOARD OKS VOTE ON $2.2 MILLION CAPITAL PROJECT

The Fredonia School Board Tuesday unanimously agreed to conduct a special vote on a $2,260,000 capital project.

Voters will be asked to consider the project -- which primarily addresses building health and safety issues -- from 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9 in the high school cafeteria.

The district's elementary and middle schools were issued a temporary, one-year certificate of occupancy from the state, following an architectural study that discovered combustible classroom partitions that significantly lower the insurance rating.

Superintendent James Coon said a debt-service payment of about $210,000 from a previous project has been set aside in 1997-98 budget to help offset the cost.

"On the expenditure side, we have $210,000," Coon said. "But on the revenue side we are getting 84 percent back (in state aid). If we took the $210,000 out we also would have to take the 84 percent aid out."

The difference between the payment and the amount of aid received is between $15,000 to $30,000.

A state building-aid incentive plan could increase the aid to as much as 94 percent.

Resident David Ryel told the board it was acting too quickly by putting the project out to vote.

Ryel also asked if an architect could be held responsible for allowing the installation of the combustible wall materials.

Coon said the walls were not part of a project that employed architectural plans.

Board clerk Russell Valvo, who also is a member of the physical plant team, outlined the project.

The project includes non-combustible construction replacement totaling $214,600. Areas targeted include the principal's office at Wheelock School, a tutoring area, darkroom, the technology shop and the nurse's office at the high school, along with middle school and elementary school classrooms.

Flooring will be replaced in areas where the partitions are removed and other unsafe or unsightly areas for a total of $98,100. Approximately $341,000 will be spent on heating, ventilation and air-conditioning work, including the replacement of a boiler at the Wheelock School.

The project also calls for $223,200 for site work at the Main Street and Wheelock campuses. The largest expense in this area is the repaving of the parking lot and access drive to the Main Street campus for $172,000.

Other work will involve plumbing, wiring for computers and fire-alarm upgrades.

The projected construction costs total $1,629,200. The addition of construction contingency and incidental costs make the entire package an estimated $2,260,000.

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