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An arid August boosted construction work at the 64-acre site of the new super high school on Porter Road, the School Board was told Thursday.

"The month of August was a good month for us," said Steve Rollins, project executive for Honeywell Inc. of Minneapolis. "Less rainfall facilitates work."

The $62-million school project, an innovative effort between the district and Honeywell, is progressing on schedule, Rollins added, with the first derricks of steel expected on site Dec. 15.

Honeywell, funding the construction of the 400,000 square-foot school, is leasing the building to the district for 30 years. The state -- under special legislation -- has agreed to reimburse the school district 83 percent of the construction cost, or $51,460,000.

In a related development, the School Board Thursday unanimously approved an agreement between the district and the New York Power Authority for the development of high-school recreational facilities. The $7 million infusion, announced in July, will also kick off a massive upgrade of the Hyde Park recreational complex.

Included in that figure is a $4.5-million upgrade to Sal Maglie Stadium, a project city officials hope will pave the way for the return of minor league baseball.

Nagging questions revolving around soil testing at the site, meanwhile, remain to be resolved on the east side of the project, explained Rollins, who is waiting the results of further testing.

"If (the soil) is found to be questionable, we'll just excavate further," he said.

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