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A series of soil tests performed at the 87-acre construction site of the district's super high school indicate no chemical contamination, the Board of Education was told Thursday.

"There are no chemical contaminants in the soil whatsoever," maintained Steve Rollins, project executive for Honeywell Inc.

Rollins, attending the School Board study session Thursday night, presented the first of monthly progress reports on the construction of the 2,500 student high school located on Porter Road.

The recent discovery of "small amounts of fuel and grease" on a 400 square foot portion of the site prompted project officials to notify the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Rollins said. As a result, representatives of the state Department of Health inspected the site Monday, Rollins confirmed.

Board trustees, meanwhile, approved a contract with CME Associates for further Geo-technical testing of construction site soil.

In briefing the board, Rollins estimated the site work at 25 percent complete, with five months of foundation work remaining. By early December -- weather permitting -- Rollins expects steel derricks to be in place at the site.

In board action, trustees set Oct. 13 for a public referendum on a $12 million bond resolution to fund repairs on schools throughout the district.

The large chunk of the project -- $3 million in roof repairs to Niagara Falls High School -- is deemed necessary to maintain the building during the next two years, according to Roy Rogers, administrator for school business services.

Other projects include: $3.2 million for a districtwide interactive communication network that would place a television in every classroom; $1.2 million in renovations at Maple Avenue Elementary School, including the addition of four classroom and a teacher conference room; $300,000 in classroom additions at Hyde Park Elementary School; $486,200 to reconstruct deteriorating masonry at Niagara Street Elementary School; and $537,500 in upgrades at LaSalle Middle School, including the installation of 800 lockers.

Most of the work would be commenced next summer, with repairs at Niagara Falls High School set to begin this fall, according to Rogers.

Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. at polling sites throughout the district.

The board also approved the establishment of the Sean Gutschall Memorial Scholarship Fund, launched by $1,134 in donations from the Gaskill Middle School and the Gaskill Parent Education Group. Funds will be used for a onetime scholarship to a graduating senior of the Class of 2003, the year in which Sean would have graduated.

Sean died after being assaulted by schoolmates earlier this year while walking home from Gaskill.

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