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PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT ON 2 PROPOSALS

Proposals for a school resource officer and a capital improvement project will be aired in a half-hour presentation Thursday during an open house at Ellicottville Central School.

Superintendent Michael C. LaFever said the two topics will be discussed beginning at 7:15 p.m. in the school gymnasium, in an effort to gauge public reaction.

State Trooper Robert Sawicki will give details of a proposal to station a police officer in the building for four years at no cost to the district.

LaFever said board members have not taken a position on the proposal.

"I think board members have questions, and some are concerned about how our community will react to the need of a school resource officer, and that's why they're looking for community input on the topic," he said.

LaFever will show photos of construction projects in Randolph, Allegany/Limestone, West Valley, Franklinville and Portville school districts.

But he said the talk will not include many of the project details that have been worked up in the past month by a committee and an architectural consultant.

He said the committee last week agreed to send the board the proposal for a "very small project" that could address the district's academic needs with reconstruction of the 40-year-old secondary wing and an addition behind the elementary gymnasium.

A new library and media center, two large science rooms, an elevator and window replacement are improvements being considered in the secondary wing.

The six classrooms to be eliminated from that wing could be replaced with new rooms behind the elementary gymnasium, where the middle school grades could be more easily segregated in that area, LaFever said.

The project's price tag is not yet known, and a design proposal hasn't been completed.

The district's financial adviser will present a package for board discussion at its Oct. 9 meeting. At that time, the board will learn the status of its current indebtedness, the amount the district would have to contribute from its reserve funds as a local share of the project cost, and the impact on the tax levy.

One funding formula under pending state legislation, if adopted, would allow the district to bond construction costs over 30 years after July 1. The district is eligible for state reimbursement of 65 percent of construction costs.

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