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Local News

March 22, 2014

Fixing pool will be a focus of Oneonta BOE meeting

The drive to fix the Oneonta High School pool through private donations could take a step forward this Wednesday. 

The Oneonta City School District Board of Education will consider at their meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at Riverside Elementary School, entering into an agreement with the Community Foundation for South Central New York. If approved, the Foundation would be the repository for all donations, said former school Interim Superintendent David Rowley. He is the chairman of the Committee to Restore the Oneonta High School Swimming Pool. Because of several mechanical problems, and a lack of district funds, the pool has not been fully utilized for more than two years.

Not only would this step make contributions to the group fully tax deductible, but the foundation can generally get a higher rate of return than a school district, Rowley said.

The group has collected about $70,000 of the estimated $400,000 needed for the public share of the work. If efforts proceed successfully, the work would be part of a future school building project and receive state aid.

Estimates for the work are about $1.2 million, said Oneonta Superintendent Joseph Yelich said. The board has agreed to work with the committee to avoid local taxpayer funding of the project. It will review the agreement with the Foundation on Wednesday, he said.

Rowley said the committee is entering the community phase of its efforts. This will include writing letters to residents and businesses. Funds raised so far are from area foundations.

With the long community tradition of supporting its school, he was confident the effort would be successful.

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