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$12.7 million bond project approved; issue will go to voters in December

A $12.7 million capital project for facilities upgrades in the Hamburg School District is set for a December referendum.

The School Board on Tuesday approved the bond project based on recommendations from the architectural firm Gordon Jones & Associates and a facilities subcommittee.

Superintendent Peter Roswell said the firm was hired early last year to conduct a complete review of the district's six school buildings.

Items slated for replacement are: windows, lighting, deteriorated ceiling tiles, boilers, hot water pumps, locker room improvements and the roof on Union Pleasant Elementary School. Some technology updates and accessibility items round out the list.

The district taxpayers' share of the 20-year bond will be $275,000 a year, according to Director of Administrative Services Thomas Bagley.

He said the tax rate should increase 1.5 percent, or 29 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

Board President Edwin Osborne said the project was not so much what the district wanted but what it needed.

"It's been 18 years since we went to the public for maintenance work. This is not the glorious part of capital projects, but the work has to be done," Osborne said.

The most recent capital project put before district voters was in 1996, when additional classroom space was required to accommodate a new full-day kindergarten program, the board president said.

The referendum is set for Dec. 6.

Bagley estimated that the district will receive state Education Department approval of the project by August of next year, with a construction start in January 2007.

In other matters, Michael Gallagher was introduced to the board as the new principal of Hamburg High School. Gallagher had formerly worked as an assistant principal in the district.

He replaces Jacqueline Peffer, who was named principal of Union Pleasant Elementary School.

A vacancy in that school was created when its former principal, Gordon Kerr, was promoted to assistant superintendent.

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