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Lockport school district residents to vote on $28.6M capital project

LOCKPORT - Voters in the Lockport City School District will be able to see a presentation on the district's proposed $28.6 million capital project at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 in Charles Upson Elementary School, 28 Harding Ave.

On Dec. 6, district residents can vote on a referendum on the project, which includes a wide range of upgrades to buildings and athletic facilities. Deborah A. Coder, assistant superintendent for finance and management, said that between state building aid and the district's capital reserve fund, there will be no impact on property taxes.

One-third of the cost will be applied to building upgrades cited in recent inspections, while 21 percent will cover improvements to classrooms, including high school science classrooms being upgraded to accommodate new science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, programs.

Coder said 25 percent of the cost will pay for athletic field improvements, including installation of artificial turf on the football field at Emmet Belknap Intermediate School and a practice field at the high school. Another 21 percent of the project's costs will be site development work at the Beattie Avenue site, recently donated to the district, where two artificial turf baseball diamonds are to be built.

Coder said the package of projects was chosen before state-mandated testing showed lead in water at some fixtures in four school buildings. The capital project won't include those repairs, but Coder said the district expects to pay the cost up front from its regular budget and accept a promised state reimbursement of 79 percent of the cost.

The Dec. 6 vote will take place from noon to 9 p.m., at the same polling places used for the annual budget vote and board election each May.


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