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February 1, 2014

Officials: Sidney school project will start in March

Staff Report
The Daily Star

---- — Work on a capital improvement project at Sidney Central School is expected to begin about March 1, according to a media release.

The Board of Education recently awarded $6.7 million in bids for both phases of the project, which was approved by voters in January 2013.

The bids, including all contingencies were about $1 million less than the maximum approved by voters. Because of this, Superintendent Bill Christensen said, nothing had to be cut.

“We’re in good shape, and excited to get started,” he said, adding that with state aid and reserve funds, there will be no impact on taxes.

The first phase will focus on athletic fields, with a multi-sport turf surface replacing the current football field. The new site will be used for football, soccer and field hockey at all levels. It will get a new scoreboard, press box and bleachers for the visiting side. The practice fields will also get improved drainage.

“We expect it will be busy up there five or six nights a week,” Sidney Superintendent Bill Christensen said. “We’ll have the lights on a lot.”

The second phase includes upgrading the school’s auditorium and boilers. The auditorium will receive new seats, new sound and light systems, as well as new rigging. Air conditioning will be added to make it available for summer use.

The five oil boilers, fueled by oil, will be replaced by three units that convert steam to hot water. They can also be converted to natural gas, if that becomes available at a later time.

“We expect a significant savings with the efficiency on those,” Christensen said.