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Residents of the Allegany Limestone Central School District voted 530 to 268 Monday in favor of $16.5 million in construction work, including 14 classrooms and a six-lane, competition-size pool and locker rooms at the new Middle/High School.

"We're very pleased that people have that much confidence in us," Superintendent Steve Troskosky said.

The project was handed to district residents three years after they approved a $25.5 million construction project for a new Middle School/High School. Last year students moved into in the new building on a large rural site north of Allegany on Five Mile Road.

The new project is described as the second step in a modernization plan for the merged district and has been on the drawing boards for about two years.

"We did a full facility assessment and realized we could not generate enough money to fix everything at a single time and stay within the parameter of not raising taxes," Troskosky said.

He said one-third of the state reorganization aid received for several years from a Limestone Central School and Allegany Central School merger has been placed in a capital reserve fund for the plan. Those funds will be used as the district's share of construction, projected to be about 5 percent. The bulk of the costs, about 95 percent, will be footed by the state.

Other components of the project include the conversion of the former Allegany Junior/Senior High School into a community center. The south end of the building will be demolished and rebuilt and some reconstruction will pave the way for a new public library entrance and public rest rooms.

The district's business office continues to be housed there, but several agencies and groups have moved into the facility, including the Town of Allegany Recreation Department, Allegany-Cattaraugus Board of Cooperative Educational Services, the Western New York Regional Information Center, the Cattaraugus County Arts Council and county Office for the Aging.

A new elevator, an electrical upgrade to support technology, improved communications systems and a playground relocation and upgrade are planned for the Limestone Elementary School. Work at the Allegany Elementary School includes classroom renovations, roof replacement, a cafeteria expansion, improvements to security systems and other areas.

Troskosky said a new bus maintenance facility also is needed but that could not be included in the plans. The district intends to begin accumulating money each year from the state reorganization aid to help pay for repairs.

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