By Susan LeBar
ELDRED October 3, 2006 In December, the Eldred School Board is hoping to put forth to the voters in Eldred a $16.9 million referendum to repair the Eldred Junior Senior High School and the Mackenzie Elementary with a bulk of the work at the high school.
Interim Superintendent Charlotte Gregory announced the board is hoping to go to the public in December but that depends on the SEQRA Environmental Impact Study form and if it is completed by then.
“If we do not have the environmental impact study done in time then the vote will have to be moved to January, but we are hoping for December and once the date is locked, there is no changing it,” Gregory said. “If we have a snowstorm on that day we cannot change the date, the state will not allow us to change it.”
School board member Robert Burrow was troubled over the date.
“Having a December vote is tough and you have people that go away in the winter months and they will not be here. That may raise some concerns in the public eye,” he stated.
Gregory noted that absentee ballots will be available and anyone who is planning on being away should take advantage of the ballots.
Gregory noted that the proposed $16 million referendum is including many things that are necessary to repair the buildings.
“Right now we are not handicap accessible and that needs to be corrected. We have major issues with the plumbing, heating, and electrical, and space is an issue,” Gregory noted. “We are proposing the addition of three junior high classrooms, a handicap elevator, a second floor addition with new science labs and a music suite, as well as kitchen storage and a walk-in cooler. A new roof must be put on the high school as well as windows, work for support has to be done to the structure and work also has to be done to the hallways and stairs as well as in all the bathrooms including making them handicap accessible and the high school septic will also be addressed.”
Gregory went on to note that an additional room expansion of the proposed classrooms would be built off of the lower gym but would not interfere with the buses for drop off and dismissal.
“The 2006 Construction and Renovation Project, as we have come to know it, will help correct many things. [At the high school] it will add two music areas of 1200 and 1600 square feet; two science labs, one at 1200 square feet and the other at 1000 square feet, all net square feet,” Gregory said. “The elementary school will receive repairs to the entry driveway, the structural issue in the gym wall that is not braced against wind will be corrected as well as floor tiles, but a lot of the work will be at the high school.”
Gregory is hopeful that at the October board meeting she will be able to give the official date of the vote to the voters.
“We just have to wait on that form,” she stated.