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capital project

March 25, 2022 - 8:08am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, capital project, oakfield-alabama, notify.


Out of all the exciting upgrades and renovations happening at Oakfield-Alabama School District, it’s perhaps the middle-high school revamp that will be of most importance.

The Lewiston Road school hasn’t exactly stood out to folks up to now, Superintendent John Fisgus says.

“We really need a front entrance at the middle-high school. We're going to have a huge lighted sign out front that says Home of the Hornets, so it'll be branded, where you can't miss it. If you've never been to our campus, it's hard to find. So we wanted to really make it welcoming and obvious to people when they pull in here, where the front entrance of the Middle-High School is,” Fisgus said Thursday to The Batavian. “We’re excited about all this work —- Currently, right now they're in the process of demo’ing the front entrance to our Middle-High School. It is a mess, but it's progress.”

That “progress” is part of a $15.3 million capital project approved by district voters in 2020. After nailing down the blueprints, contractors and plan of action, the work has been evolving at both the elementary and middle-high schools, with a completion date of this August.

The district’s goals were to improve safety and security at the schools, meet building codes and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, complete mechanical and electrical infrastructure, and landscape upgrades. 

District officials presented the plan as a “tax neutral” project, due in large part to state aid, with remaining costs paid for with capital reserves money. All of the dirt, commotion and periodic disruption from equipment will be worth it in the end, Fisgus said. 

“We are redoing our Middle-High School main office, the guidance and mental health suites, we're redoing the front entrance here, to make it a more secure vestibule. All of the windows in the middle-high school building are being replaced with tinted windows and brand new frames and colors. So it's not the old green 1950s stuff.

“A majority of the work has been completed at the elementary school,” he said, including cafeteria, stage and kitchen redesign and reconstruction and a new main office area with a secure vestibule and entrance so that visitors will remain behind a locked door once buzzed into the building. 

“There are still some minor things that, whether we're waiting on warm temperatures to finish the front entrance, or that we redid the elementary cafeteria and some of the flooring needs to wait to be done over the summer because it's a major project,” he said.

Bleacher replacements, a gym divider and acoustic improvements in the gym and reconstructed toilets in the fifth-grade wing, a repositioned playground with newly graded mulch, borders and rubber mattings, a reconfigured front campus parking lot and a new student drop-off and bus loop will complete the elementary school’s phase one scope of work.

How about some brand new, resurfaced and repainted tennis courts? They're outback, with a new basketball court. An atrium wall of windows with skylights and district branding will complement a safer entranceway for the middle-high school as well. In addition to the new welcome sign will be labeled for other community sites, such as the entrance to the aquatics area. 

Much of the work wasn’t about want, but about need, Fisgus said.

“The big thing was to increase the security,” he said. “It's construction and there's a lot of vehicles here and a lot of supplies and materials, but, it's moving right along. And we're happy with the work being done. It's intrusive, but, you know, it'll be great once it's completed.”

Top photo:  Art Teacher Kim Leupold puts the finishing touches on a mural created by students at Oakfield-Alabama Central School on Lewiston Road (Route 63).  The mural is on a temporary wall in a hallway next to the new main office for the Middle-High school. 

Photos by Howard Owens.


District Superintendent John Fisgus holds renderings of exterior building designs.


Construction in progress for the Middle-High school’s new main office.


Newly resurfaced and painted tennis courts are part of O-A's capital project.


The remodeled elementary school cafeteria is ready for hungry youngsters.


Oakfield-Alabama Elementary School Principal Lynn Gehlert shows the new -- and more secure -- entryway for the elementary school.  


An expanded parking lot at the Middle-High School allows more room for visitors.


In addition to new stage lights in the auditorium, the rigging system has been upgraded.  Work will begin to replace the stage after the annual musical.


The new Nurse's Office in the elementary school


Acoustic tiles in the ceiling of the remodeled cafeteria in the elementary school will help dampen sound.


The new bus lot for pick-up and drop-off is exclusively for buses during those designated periods, and it also serves as an overflow lot for special events at the school when buses are not transporting students.

Oakfield-Alabama's $15.3 million capital project is in full swing, with a completion date by this fall.

February 20, 2022 - 10:58pm

Pembroke Central School Board approved more than $2 million in bids for its 2021 capital improvement project during a special meeting conducted this past Thursday.

Superintendent Matthew Calderon said the meeting was called so that the bids and project could move forward “sooner than later.”

A total of $2,139,223.25 was approved for the following individual bids:

  • $496,775.79 to Edward Holme, Inc. for site work$756,000 to Willett Builders, Inc. for general trades work
  • $107,000 to Parise Mechanical, Inc. for mechanical work
  • $445,000 to DV Brown & Associates for plumbing
  • $293,913.73 to Astroturf Corp. for track resurfacing
  • $40,533.73 to Johnson Controls, Inc. for energy-efficient temperature controls

The project, approved by district voters in 2021, covers renovations and upgrades that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and per the district’s Building Conditions survey. Work includes:

Pembroke High School - Install auditorium ADA stage lift, ADA upgrades in restrooms throughout the building, install discus cage fencing (a safety issue), resurface the track, which has been deemed to be "at the end of its life."

Pembroke Intermediate School - Install auditorium ADA stage lift, ADA upgrades to the first and second floor main restrooms, retrofit the existing auditorium house lights, replacement of flooring in corridors, cafeteria, and select rooms.

Pembroke Primary School - Install auditorium ADA stage lift, asphalt reconstruction of parking lot and driveway around the building.

District officials have said the project will not affect taxpayers since a majority of the cost — 73 percent — is to be paid from state aid, and $1.1 million from the Capital Reserve Fund.

Below, a video of the project presentation via Pembroke Central School:

October 6, 2021 - 6:34pm
posted by Joanne Beck in Byron-Bergen School District, capital project, vote.

Residents of Byron-Bergen Central School will have an opportunity to cast a yay or nay vote tomorrow on the district’s proposed capital project for more than $17 million. 

The vote is from 1 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Junior-Senior High School cafeteria, 6917 West Bergen Rd. 

School officials have said that the majority of the project  will use available state building aid to pay the cost of the $17,107,802 project. The District’s capital reserve fund, which is designated to be used exclusively for capital improvement projects, will pay for $2 million of the “local share.” The remainder of the project’s cost will be offset by retiring debt service payments, resulting in a “tax neutral” financing plan, officials say. All that is to say that it won’t directly impact school taxpayers.

This project is for improvements to the Elementary School, Junior-Senior High School, the natatorium (indoor swimming pool) and the bus garage. Priority has been given to “asset protection, healthy building initiatives, energy efficiency, and programmatic enhancement,” district officials say. These improvements will further district goals to provide quality, well-maintained buildings, infrastructure and facilities, district materials state. 

A Question and Answer section on the district’s website covers:

  • Why the district has proposed this capital project (short answer: to ensure proper upkeep, make necessary repairs and spend the money now versus having more costly work and deterioration in the future);
  • How it was developed (through a long-range plan and required five-year state-mandated building surveys to assess and complete vital upgrades to preserve the current infrastructure); 
  • Money that comes from state taxpayers (It is true that taxpayers have put money into the pot, and the district believes that doing this project would keep some of those dollars locally to benefit the Byron-Bergen school district);
  • When this project will begin (Once the State Education Department approves the project’s initial phase, expected by fall 2022, work would begin in early 2023 with anticipated completion by fall 2024);
  • What happens if the referendum is defeated (more critical safety requirements still need to be done and would be built into the annual budget, meaning that eventually, school taxpayers would bear the full cost. It’s a do-it-now or spends more later proposition).

A public information meeting was conducted on Sept. 30, but for those that missed it, project details can also be found at www.bbschools.org


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