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Voters OK 2 school districts' projects

Voters in two local school districts on Tuesday gave overwhelming approval to capital improvement plans worth tens of millions of dollars.

In the Williamsville School District, a $16.75 million capital project was approved for a variety of districtwide construction projects by a vote of 1,056 to 298.

In the Pioneer Central School District in Yorkshire, voters approved a $31 million capital project that will build a 10-classroom science addition at the high school. The margin was 496 to 148.

The Williamsville project includes safety improvements in the drop-off areas outside Maple West Elementary, Transit Middle and South High schools; up to three additional security cameras in school buildings; new computer lab air conditioning at the middle schools; partial replacement of the roof at South High; and renovation of bathrooms and replacement of lockers at East High School.

It will be paid for with $1.45 million from capital reserves, $1.8 million from budget transfers, and the remaining $13.5 million from bond issues. No tax increase will be required.

Superintendent Scott Martzloff thanked the voters and called the project a "win-win" for the district and the community.

At Pioneer Central High School, the new science rooms will meet state requirements for size and equipment.

The current science classrooms will be renovated for use by the music department, providing separate rehearsal classrooms for orchestra, band and chorus, and more room for instrument storage and practice space.

Four other science classrooms in the high school will be turned into special-education classrooms.
An addition to the agriculture barn/center on the high school grounds will house a portable sawmill owned by the department.

The project also will replace primary electric service for the high school and middle school campus, and remove a 500-gallon underground diesel fuel storage tank at the north end of the high school grounds.

The plan also includes renovations to the third floor of Arcade Elementary School, parts of which date back more than 80 years. All third-floor classrooms and restrooms will be gutted and reshaped, and get new ceilings, flooring, lights, ventilating systems, cabinets and paint.

The project, designed not to increase the tax rate, is financed through a combination of sources, including state building aid, state EXCEL funds and capital reserves.