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DISTRICT MULLS PLANS TO BUILD NEW SCHOOL

The Southwestern Central School District is considering plans to construct a new elementary school to replace its two old buildings in Lakewood and Celoron.

Superintendent Edmund Harvey said the cost is still being worked out, but more than 70 residents who attended a recent facilities planning session came to the consensus that a new kindergarten-through-fifth-grade building would be the best move.

"We could centralize the building on our current middle school/high school campus. We have the acreage to do that, but we would have to look then at some other issues including our athletic fields," Harvey said.

A good portion of that field space could be lost in the project.

The district also is working out the costs of renovating the two old buildings in order to make a good price comparison for residents. The Lakewood and Celoron buildings were built in the early part of the century. Celoron now houses kindergarten through second grade, while third-through-fifth-grade pupils attend Lakewood.

Harvey said the district could take advantage of some extra state aid for capital improvements.

"If we have a successful vote after June 30, 1998, we will get an additional 10 percent on an approved project," he said. "Our current aid ratio is 74.9 percent, and that would be raised to 84.9 percent."

Technology upgrades and improvements to the middle and high schools are also being considered. The citizens facilities planning group will meet again in late January or early February to review additional information, including possible costs.

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