ONEONTA _ About $9.4 million in bids were awarded Wednesday for the $14 million building project in the Oneonta City School District, officials said.

The action was taken during the regular board of education meeting, held in the district office because schools were closed Wednesday.

The work, approved by voters in 2005, will affect all school buildings in the district, said Superintendent Michael Shea. The new work includes drainage at the middle school/high school, Smart Boards at Riverside Elementary and wiring at all schools to allow for the addition of the interactive white boards when they can be afforded.

Playgounds at Center Street and Valleyview elementary schools and new walls in some areas of the middle school are also planned, said business manager Lisa Weeks. Completed work on the middle school/ high school boiler and roofs at Riverside and Greater Plains was also part of the overall project, Shea said.

The work is expected to start with asbestos abatement at some sites in April. Shea said he would like to see the project completed by 2011.

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