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Possible joint projects with city aired

The city and the school district may end up doing several joint projects in the future like rebuilding or renovating the Hyde Park Ice Pavilion and collaborating on a number of other mutually beneficial tasks.

Interim School Superintendent Cynthia A. Bianco told the School Board on Thursday night that she had just come from a very preliminary, but very hopeful meeting with Mayor Paul A. Dyster and other city officials on ways the city and the board might collaborate to make the city a nicer place "for our children and citizens."

"This is the first step in what may be a mile-long journey. We were just talking issues that we might have some mutual interest in," she said.

Bianco said Dyster told her the City Council will be voting Monday on a resolution that will offer to pay for the electricity that's used during June, July and August events and games at Sal Maglie Stadium.

"In the past, the district has been picking up the cost. The mayor said it was about time the city does that," she said.

On a possible Ice Pavilion project, Bianco said, "The city is interested in doing a project there and we have a hockey team that needs ice time, plays 20 games and doesn't play one of them in Niagara Falls. We have to bus our kids everywhere so that's an expense and it's something to consider," Bianco said.

As a result, she said, "We had a very preliminary discussion about where there was an opportunity to work together on either remodeling or rebuilding the Ice Pavilion."

The city is also interested in the former South Junior High School property at Portage Road and Walnut and Ferry avenues.

"The city is interested in both the north and south parking lots there. It would like to put a pocket park on the south lot near Ferry Avenue and put in some slides and swings and a basketball hoop," she said.

"They are interested in the north parking lot off Walnut Avenue across from the [Niagara Arts Center] to put in an access road," for parking for events at the NAC.

Bianco said they discussed the possibility of the city's providing help for the district's six-week summer program for kids, and he assigned acting Deputy Superintendent Mark Laurrie and city Youth Bureau Director Patricia Travis to work on that possibility together.

Also discussed was the possibility of switching vacant properties each entity owns on the triangle of land just south of Harry F. Abate School.

"This is all very preliminary, but we found things they want and there are things we want. So maybe we can work together to get a few things done," Bianco said.

e-mail: pwestmoore@buffnews.com

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