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Hamburg School Board considers $9.7 million capital project

Hamburg School Board members are considering a $9.7 million capital project that would go to the voters during the annual budget vote in May.

There would be repairs and improvements to each school, but the big project driving the timing of the project is the replacement of the roof at Charlotte Avenue School.

“It’s at the end of its useful life,” said Scott W. Jones of Gordon W. Jones Associates, the district’s architectural firm.

The work on the project is included in the building condition report, a survey of district facilities that is required every five years. Items in the report are rated on the priority of performing the repair, and some are deemed to be higher priorities than others. The estimated cost of completing all the projects in the survey is $39.4 million, Jones said.

The district’s $32 million capital project is ending, and the district will start getting reimbursement for that project, said Barbara S. Sporyz, assistant superintendent for business. In addition, debt service is going down, with 1.1 million “falling off the books,” she said.

Much of the proposed $9.7 million project is necessary maintenance of facilities, with brick repointing and sidewalk and curb replacements. There also would be work done in updating school libraries, fiber-optics and several auditoriums.

“We’re looking at basic items that need to be replaced or repaired,” Sporyz said. “For many years, it was just left undone.”

She said it is more cost-effective to complete a moderate-size project rather than a small one because of fixed costs. She said she would not recommend just replacing the roof at Charlotte Elementary.

Board member Cameron Hall said he wants to see the areas that need to be repaired, and the board will organize a field trip for members to check out the buildings.

Sporyz said that if the board approves, the resolution authorizing the bond issue must be adopted March 22 for it to appear on the May ballot.  If it is approved, the roof would be fast-tracked for approval by the state Education Department. Under that scenario, the roof would be put to bid by October, and construction would start in the spring or summer of 2017.

“With such a tight time frame it doesn’t give us a lot of time to delve into what we’re doing,” said board President Thomas F. Flynn III.

If the board does not want to have the vote in May, “there is no roof for Charlotte until the following year,” Sporyz said.

Board member Laura J. Heeter asked about including upgrades for the soccer fields and baseball diamond in the capital project. Sporyz said she would work with the architect on including those items.