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Jeanne Sager | Democrat

THE SNOW-COVERED ROSCOE CS pool can be fixed as part of the school’s $1 million “Phase Two” building repair plan if the taxpayers approve.

Pool fix takes back seat in Roscoe's plans

By Jeanne Sager
ROSCOE — February 5, 2008 — It’s hosted the first bellyflops and cannonballs of generations of Roscoe youngsters.
But the pool at the Roscoe Central School has been out of commission since the April flood of 2005 – when folks found trout floating where they’d once learned to swim.
Fixing the 75-year-old pool is back on the agenda for the school district.
It will, however, take a backseat to problems in the school building itself, chiefly those the administrators believe will be eligible for state aid.
In other words – it will be several years before kids can even think about bellyflopping into the Roscoe Pool.
A review of the facilities has shown the district’s needs amount to almost $3 million in renovations – including the pool.
“If, all things being equal, we could have done [it all together] we would have done that and save time,” said Superintendent Carmine Giangreco.
But the district’s capital projects aren’t equal in the eyes of the New York State Department of Education.
Fixing the pool would come entirely out of the pockets of Roscoe taxpayers, while work on the heating system or the roof is eligible for state aid funding.
“So we looked at what could we do that would be helpful to the community,” Giangreco said
The decision was to split work in the district into three phases, splitting the cost over three years.
The first phase, which will be up for voter approval in May along with the district’s annual budget vote, is already covered.
A total of $1 million in expenses will be paid through a combination of 51 percent state aid, monies from the district capital reserve fund and a grant from the Senate.
The project will tackle the heating and ventilation system that’s rounding the 40-year mark, Giangreco said, including the removal of asbestos that’s nestled in spots throughout the building.
“Everything in those days was done with asbestos,” Giangreco noted. “As long as you don’t do anything with it, it’s OK.”
But a pipe that broke beneath the cafeteria earlier this year cost the district $20,000 for what should have been a simple repair.
“It cost $20,000 to fix it because there was asbestos around it,” Giangreco said with a sigh. “Our water pipes have asbestos around them – if we get rid of all the asbestos, now we don’t have to spend $20,000 to change a pipe.”
Phase Two, which is expected to go up for taxpayer approval in the 2008-09 school year, is being classified as “building envelope work,” and will cost around $1 million
Partially state-aidable (up to 51 percent, Giangreco hopes), the project would address more issues that have arisen because of the age of the 1938 school.
The single-paned windows will have to be replaced to increase energy efficiency.
The older windows were also lined with caulk that contains asbestos, all of which will be replaced.
The building’s masonry will be repointed in phase two, solving the problem of leaks in the upper floor.
“We found we had some leaks in the rooms upstairs, not because of the roof leaking, but because it was coming in through the bricks!” Giangreco explained.
The roof itself is reaching the end of the 10-year warranty on its foam, which will necessitate the replacement of the foam in phase two.
Also on the agenda is the removal of an old fuel tank – a pre-emptive strike before the tank’s lining wears away and it begins to leak.
Rounding out that phase will be outside work on both the playground and the pool.
“It’s a great playground,” Giangreco said of the wood structure, “but it’s old, and it needs to be redone.”
The same can be said for the pool, he noted, flood damage notwithstanding.
“What pool lasts 75 years?” he pondered.
Major repairs were last done in the 1970s, and the pool was starting to show its age before it was slammed two years in a row by the Beaverkill overflowing its banks.
The last piece of the puzzle for Roscoe, Phase Three, is tentatively on the agenda for taxpayers to look at in the 2009-10 school year.
It will include much-needed drainage work on the school’s bathrooms – even Giangreco’s own bathroom lacks hot water at the moment.
It’s expected to cost less than $1 million, but Giangreco said he can’t promise prices won’t go up as the years pass.
He’s hesitant to put an exact price on either Phase Two or Three, with inflation expected and the district still hopeful it can find grant monies or additional state aid to offset the tax burden.
Even Phase One – if it passes muster with taxpayers in May – could see a cost hike between now and the time the school goes to bid.
The State Education Department will have to approve the project after voters; likely delaying work on Phase one until mid-2009.
The same will hold true for each phase of the project – state ed. will have to weigh in before work can begin.
That means a generation of Roscoe swimmers may never dip their toes in the pool behind the school.

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