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October 24, 2012

Oneonta school board to discuss capital plan

By Richard Whitby
The Daily Star

---- — The Oneonta City School Board will discuss a $4.6 million capital-spending proposal during its meeting tonight.

The plan, which will be presented by the district’s architect, calls for district-wide technology improvements, such as upgrading network hardware and providing wireless service. It also would improve security systems and video surveillance at school buildings.

“There’s no fluff here,” interim Superintendent David Rowley said. “These are things that really need to be done.”

Other improvements would include construction of a drainage swale behind the middle school/high school.

“We have water coming off the hill, and it threatens to flood the boiler room, the electrical room and flow down the halls,” Rowley said. “It’s really a problem. This is the final fix, and it’s something we really need to do.”

In addition, the asphalt in the parking area near the high school’s gym and pool and exterior doors and frames at several schools would be replaced.

“Some of these things have been put off, for example, the doors and frames, particularly at Valleyview (Elementary School) … they’re in really tough shape, and they need to be replaced,” Rowley said.

The plan also would improve lighting in the pool-gym parking lot at the middle school-high school, replace the ventilation system in middle-school gym and replace some room heating units at the middle school.

At Valleyview, it would replace gymnasium air handling system and replace three outside wooden stairways.

At Greater Plains Elementary, it would renovate a locker room for classroom space.

No work would be done at the district offices on Center Street.

Rowley said that 72 percent of the cost would be covered by state aid, leaving the district to come up with the other 28 percent. Payments on the resulting bond issue would average about $119,000 a year over 15 years, he said.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in Greater Plains Elementary School, 60 West End Ave.

Rowley said that there was a chance the board would vote on the proposal today, but that it was more likely to wait until its November meeting.

If approved, the proposal would be put before the district’s voters, either in early December or early January, depending on when the board votes, Rowley said.