By Susan Monteleone
ELDRED January 17, 2006 Once again, the condition of the current Eldred Junior Senior High School was a topic at the school board meeting.
In a meeting prior to the regular school board meeting, the board heard a report from Michael Lesick from Foit-Albert Associates informing the board of what should be repaired and what should not be repaired right away.
School board President Vincent Zike explained, "In the report, we have to determine what has to be done first and see how we can take the right steps for the repairs. Some work is a safety issue, and we may have to address these concerns sooner than we thought and some issues can most likely wait. Some of the repairs we could even be forced to repair."
Zike also addressed the recent gym deterioration.
"The gym repair cost us $60,000, and we did not have a plan for this one. If it was not an emergency repair, it probably would have cost $10,000. This was a lot of work to be done, and there are still things that have to be done."
Craig Lamoreaux from the Thomas Group then talked about the Mackenzie Elementary School.
"We are almost complete at Mackenzie, and the septic system will be done once we get the chlorine tablets, he explained. Then in the spring we will be doing the topsoiling and the replanting of the grass. We had a man on site on all phases of the project, and he oversaw everything."
After Lamoreaux spoke, Lesick added, "We did complete the building survey for the high school. We recognized some items of concern, and they will need to be addressed. There are items that you will have to address because they have not been touched since the building was built in 1941. We will present the board with our recommendation, and they will have to develop a budget."
"There are ways we can save on repairs to the building, said Zike. The electrical needs to be addressed. We have a lot of demand on the wiring with more technology in this building."
Zike spelled out the options: "We can propose a budget for the repairs and have you, the taxpayers, cough up a lump sum, or we can come up with a Band-Aid budget. We have to look at projections and how the building should be repaired and how it will effect the students and the academics. We do feel the district will grow and the level of the educational demand will also grow.
"A new building could cost $40 million to $50 million, but that is not a concrete number. We have had two failed budgets, and we have to put forth a good budget this time around."
Supt. Ivan Katz explained, "Currently there is no money from the state for Eldred, so to think we can get funds for a new building is tough. Eldred is considered a wealthy district, and our state funding is not that much. We do have a better chance at getting funds if we do a renovation project instead."
In other business, the Eldred Central School Board was not wasting any time getting right down to business and approving what had to be done.
The board authorized Supt. Katz to investigate the possibility of the district entering into an Energy Performance Project and approved hiring Melissa Muller, on an emergency conditional basis, as transportation coordinator at a salary of $45,000, effective February 1.
They also approved increasing the hourly salary for substitute cafeteria workers and substitute bus monitors to $6.75, effective this month.