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Niagara Wheatfield takes steps toward $48.3 million capital project

SANBORN – A comprehensive survey of the conditions of buildings in the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District has recommended the School Board start planning for about $48.3 million in capital projects.

Jerry Young of Young & Wright Architectural showed the board Wednesday an outline of the findings of a survey of the district’s eight buildings and the repairs and renovations that his firm recommended. He presented a top-10 list for each building.

Many of the items included “nuts and bolts” issues, he said, such as leaks, sidewalks, parking lots ceiling tiles and doors. Other suggestions involved security issues such as entrance ways and technology equipment such as telephones and security cameras.

Young pointed out that the entire project could take up to five years before the work is close to completion. Design work by the architects and engineers, voter approval and other requirements would mean the work would not start until the 2017-18 school year. Approval alone from the state Education Department would take more than eight months, he said. Architectural fees were listed in the report at $587,000.

School Superintendent Daniel Ljiljanich suggested that the district could begin an annual capital outlay project to provide $100,000 for some of the work. The money would be reimbursed each following year by about 88 percent in state aid, it was noted.

Ljiljanich recommended the board establish a committee to start planning capital and long-term facility projects. The board approved setting up the committee with three board members and three community representatives.

Del Ambrosia, director of facilities, said he found no surprises in the survey and said the architectural firm used his notes from the last five years as a starting pointing point for its report.

The most immediate work that needs to be done would be any area that affects the health and safety of the students such as roof repairs, he said.

The district used to set aside capital outlay project funding every year but cut back during difficult financial times to prevent eliminating jobs, Ambrosia said.