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PANEL URGES CONSTRUCTION OF NEW HIGH SCHOOL

Superintendent C. Douglas Whelan on Monday presented the Starpoint Central School Board recommendations of the Community Facilities Committee that included construction of a new high school.

Whelan said the members of the committee found that even though there are 2,671 students in the district -- a decrease from 3,000 in 1970 -- the district needs more space.

By 2004-05, the committee found that the district should have an enrollment of 2,856.

Because every student in the high school now has to take Regents tests, the infiltration of computers into the classes and more students being served in special education needs, the district needs to increase its space, said Whelan. "All of those extra things that school districts have to deal with have absorbed the space."

The School Board will hold a workshop where the recommended plan will be available for public view at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 3 in the district board room, 4363 Mapleton Road. Whelan said the architect for the plan will then release a cost figure for the proposal.

The committee has recommended that the district change its grade configuration to kindergarten to grade 2, grades 3 to 5, grades 6 to 8 and grades 9 to 12 instead of kindergarten to 3, 4 to 6, and 7 to 12.

The report also states, "The new senior high school should be a 'state of the art' facility that reflects the importance that the community places on education. The design should also include appropriate classroom space, computer rooms, a large group instruction room, science, math and foreign language laboratories, office space, specialized music areas, a media center and an auditorium."

In a presentation to the School Board in October, the Thomas Group of Buffalo said the district might face $39.5 million in costs for new construction and for the renovation of existing structures to house the expected surge in enrollment.

If the School Board and ultimately the voters decide before next June 30 to proceed with the complete project, the state would pay about $35 million of the cost. If voters decide after that date, the state would pay only about $31 million.

The board also voted, 9-0, to give a three-year contract extension to the eight members of the Starpoint Principals and Pupil Personnel Association.

The salary increase averages 3.3 percent per year, with the first year of the contract in effect this year. No one will be allowed to take a sabbatical, and each of the employees will be offered a stipend of $2,500 "for preapproved additional work beyond the regular day."

The employees and their new 1999-2000 salaries:

Secondary Principal Gilbert Licata, $2,000 this year, $84,870 in 2000-01 and $87,841 in 2001-02.

Primary Building Principal Nancy J. Orsi -- $77,334. Orsi will earn $80,041 in 2000-01 and $82,843 in 2001-02.

Intermediate School Principal Douglas J. Regan -- $80,236. He will earn $83,045 in 2000-01 and $85,952 in 2001-02.

Assistant High School Principal Audrey Wingerter -- $68,587. She will earn $73,575 in 2000-01 and $78,738 in 2001-02.

Assistant Elementary School Principal Roberta Wyner, who is working in a new position -- $55,000. She will earn $59,513 for 2000-01 and $64,183 for 2001-02.

Director of Special Programs Linda Weygandt -- $65,766. She will earn $73,243 in 2000-01 and $78,394 in 2001-02.

Psychologist Karen Schultz -- $54,499. She will earn $56,407 for 2000-01 and $58,382 for 2001-02.

Psychologist Elizabeth Malley -- $51,315. She will earn $53,111 in 2000-01 and $54,970 for 2001-02.

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