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Local News

July 21, 2012

Sidney school discovers blast from the past

While construction work was under way on a building project at Sidney Central School, a bomb shelter was found underneath the middle school, Superintendent William Christensen said. Access was through a crawl space, so no one had been in the area for years.

Although it was a surprise for many, several longtime staff members recalled its existence after the discovery.

Because it was in an area where there was asbestos, the material had to be removed. The shelter could house about 300 people. There were such items as water jugs, cots, manuals and a variety of medicines still on hand.

Some of the materials, including a model, were kept for their historic value. The school hopes to work with various groups to try and preserve some of the history. The building project includes recoating and replacing roofs, replacing the retaining wall behind the gym, asbestos removal and the installation of security cameras.

Also as part of the project the district leveled a vacant house it bought a few years ago near the high school gym. The Board of Education will decide whether it wants to use the space for parking as originally planned.

In other Sidney school news, about 300 students are enrolled in a variety of summer programs, Christensen said. This is about one-third of the student population and includes about twice as many as attended last year. Besides remedial programs, offerings include advanced studies and sports camps. About a week ago, about 40 students in third through eighth grades attended an underwater robotics class that was part of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics program called SeaPerch. It is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. That work will be followed by a middle school class in the fall.      

The name of the Delaware Academy and Delhi Central Schools was recently changed to the Delaware Academy Central School District at Delhi, Superintendent Jason Thomson said.

The change became official with Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing the bill July 18. It was important because it more accurately reflects the district, which closed an elementary school in Treadwell six years ago and combined its middle and high schools in 2010-11, Thompson said. It will also streamline the data reporting process, he said. The Board of Education approved a resolution supporting the name change in December, pending the approval of the state Education Department.

With the support of Assemblyman Clifford Crouch and State Sen. John Bonacic, the bill passed both houses unanimously June 12, and went to Cuomo the following month.

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