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Batavia City Schools board approves $89K of additional construction costs

By Joanne Beck


Files photo of 245 Liberty St., Batavia being demolished in July 

City school board members approved more than $89,000 in change orders this week for work being done at Jackson Primary and Batavia High schools.

The nine change orders — additional expenses usually for “unforeseen” work discovered during the job-in-progress — ranged from $1,369 to $24,443. With no questions or discussion, the board approved the financial revisions during its regular meeting Monday at the high school.

Work includes:

  • Having to disconnect and remove an unforeseen utility service at Jackson Primary for $7,209.
  • Development, labor and materials associated with installing a fence, posts, and to extend sidewalks to accommodate setting the fence posts within a walkway at Jackson Primary, $9,592.
  • Installing curb work along Liberty Street and Blakely Place at Jackson Primary, $4,112.
  • Removing the unforeseen underground storage tank during excavation at Jackson Primary, $3,311.
  • Having to lower the ceiling grid system in room 167 as well as construct a bulkhead and lower 40 square feet of ceiling to accommodate lighting at BHS, $1,369.
  • Installing insulation to the exposed water lines at BHS, $1,392.
  • Installing plyron flooring (impact resistant, hardboard-faced plywood) in lieu of plywood sub-flooring at stage sacrificial floor at BHS, $18,394.
  • Labor and materials for plumbing and heating company to replace the incoming gas line at the loading dock at BHS, $19,266.
  • Labor and materials to replace an underground gas line feeder from the loading dock to the gas meter at BHS, $24,443.

A capital project stemming from 2020 at Jackson Primary includest the expansion of outdoor amenities at the southside school.  It has included demolition of a building at 245 Liberty St., Batavia, which was donated to the city school district in December 2017. Taking down the former Country Pride Bakery Mart is part of a plan to create additional parking and green spaces, and a pedestrian walkway adjacent to Jackson Primary School. 

Work at the high school includes an emergency replacement of two water boilers.

Summer's here: flowers, sunshine, and construction

By Joanne Beck


Signs of summer are everywhere: lots of flowers, hot temperatures, outdoor enthusiasts, and plenty of construction.

Work along Richmond Avenue, from Oak to State streets, is progressing, said Brett Frank, director of Public Works. Due to construction work, the area had an emergency 12-inch water main repair that began last month between Oak and Buxton. The water portion of the project “has been wrapped up,” Frank said.

“Zoladz Construction is now working on necessary sidewalk replacement, and will be working on the milling and paving of Richmond as well,” he said Thursday. “Right now there are no traffic concerns or reminders that need to take place.”

Earlier this week, that wasn’t the case, as flagmen were on site to control a one-way lane on the street. Piles of dirt have been toppled onto residents’ front lawns, which seems the price for improved infrastructure.

Work continues despite the heat and humidity, which DPW staff have countered with “lots of water and Gatorade!” Frank said.

City Council approved the project bid of $2,658,297.17 from Zoladz Construction of Alden in May. Scope of work includes a portion of Harvester Avenue from state Routes 5 and 33 to state Route 63. It will be paid for with 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent non-federal.

Another ongoing city construction is also happening at the south side’s Ellicott Station on Ellicott Street, in the heart of downtown with the new Healthy Living campus between Wiard and Bank streets, along Park Road, and a new Rochester Regional Health medical facility on Route 98 in the Town of Batavia.



Photos: Work along Richmond Avenue in Batavia this week has meant slowed one-lane traffic, hot days in the sun for workers a repaired water main and the beginning of improved sidewalks and the road. Photos by Howard Owens.

Work begins on Healthy Living campus in downtown Batavia

By Joanne Beck


If Healthy Living officials were happy about a groundbreaking ceremony, imagine how they feel to finally see Phase I of the project begin.

Take a walk just east of the YMCA building, and you will see the tear-down of Cary Hall, which once housed Healthy Living programs. Rochester Regional Health and GLOW YMCA officials have worked for years on a plan for the new facility, and look forward to the ensuing progress.

“We've got the demo of Cary Hall coming down now. And it’s moving along nicely, and we expect that to last probably another week, week and a half, till we get everything down,” United Memorial Medical Center CEO Dan Ireland said Tuesday. “And then the next phase will be — that's really the enabling phase — getting that done, and getting the parking lot graded out, and then starting to really get to work on the foundations for the new building.”

Last month, Ireland, GLOW YMCA CEO Rob Walker, and about 100 others gathered at 213 East Main St., Batavia, at the site of a future 78,000-square-foot facility. Defined as an integrated medical and wellness facility, it's to include state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a new pool, indoor track, teaching kitchen, a children’s adventure room play area, plus 22 exam rooms and two medical procedure rooms for primary care, telemedicine appointments, behavioral health and crisis intervention support, cancer prevention, chronic illness, and community education services. The site will serve as a one-stop-shop for many health concerns and fitness goals, and there will also be a drop-in childcare center.

Despite supply chain issues for other projects — roofing material, steel and concrete — this project is on track for a scheduled late 2023 completion date, Ireland said. Knowing how construction projects can go at times, he said the timetable could change at some point, but materials have been available so far.

“This is different than all of the other construction projects I’ve been involved in; it’s a funny mix of, you just don’t know what’s going to get delayed,” he said.

That second phase -- building the infrastructure for the new site -- will likely begin in September, Ireland said.

“Right now, we're just waiting on some paperwork. With that next phase, you'll start seeing foundations getting framed out,” he said. “So the demo contractors are on there now, and the contractor that's going to actually do the construction will transition onto the site. We're still looking at late 2023 completion at this stage of the game. And again, I always use caution on all my projects these days … not everything's been ordered yet. So, obviously, just getting started on the build phase, we will have to be working on that, firming up that timeline, and making sure we don't have any delays with supplies or other parts. I guess roofing material is one of the big things that all my projects are looking at challenges.”

Ireland is also overseeing construction for the Batavia medical campus on Route 98. Sessler Environmental Services of Rochester, the contractor for Ellicott Station, is doing the demo work, and RP Oak Hill Building Company will be doing the construction for the Healthy Living campus. The project has taken nearly seven years of hurdles to get to this point.

“I know Rob (Walker) and I are thrilled about this. And, in fact, I was off-site yesterday, and he sends me a picture of the demo getting underway. He's like, ‘it's finally here.’ So that's kind of where we're at,” Ireland said. “We tried to minimize any impact of traffic on the lot. Thankfully, most of that area's not highly traveled, and we'll be able to not impact people too much, as far as in and out of that campus, and then inside of the lot.”





Top and remaining photos show the beginning phase of demolition for Cary Hall, which formerly housed Healthy Living. Photos by Howard Owens.

Genesee Lumber remains open as 'Essential Business' but changes order processes in response to COVID-19

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Customers of Genesee Lumber Company are asked to call ahead to place their orders for pickup, in response to the CDC recommendations for social distancing. Employees at Genesee Lumber will prepare customer orders and place them in the designated pickup areas outside of the building.

As of today (March 23), this policy will remain in effect until March 31st, but this could change as the pandemic continues to grow. Genesee Lumber can be reached at (585) 343-0777 from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 7 a.m. -1 p.m. on Saturdays. Closed Sundays.

Genesee Lumber will also continue job-site deliveries, but asks that you do not assist our drivers in unloading.

“We have taken all precautions to meet the government recommendations for social distancing and have our staff following all of the guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus,” said John Harrower, owner of Genesee Lumber.

Genesee Lumber is a building materials supplier on Franklin Street in Batavia that has been in business since 1928. For more up-to-date information you can visit

Stroh Road bridge replacement project in Alexander to begin May 7 and last about six months

By Billie Owens

From County Highway Superintendent Timothy J. Hens:

The County has hired LC Whitford from Wellsville to replace the Stroh Road bridge over the Tonawanda Creek in the Town of Alexander.

The contractor plans on closing the bridge to traffic starting at approximately 7 a.m. on Monday, May 7th. The bridge will be closed for approximately six months while it is replaced.

There will be no detour posted during construction. Maplewood Road will remain open during construction.

Camp Hard Hat teaches employable skills without all the college debt

By Billie Owens

Photos and story by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

Boardwalks and bridges in the Genesee County Park. If you visit the park during any season you have used one or both.

“There are people from all over the world that come to the this little park and say how neat, clean and nice this park is,” says Jared Radesi, Camp Hard Hat director and Building Trades teacher.

“Attribute some of that to the kids that get together every summer for one week here to build a new bridge and help keep the park alive.

The BEA(Business Education Alliance) has partnered with the Genesee Valley Educational  Partnership to offer Camp Hard Hat at the Genesee County Park.

“It’s an educational learning experience for the kids and everything is to code,” says Paul Osborn, Genesee County Parks supervisor.

This is the fourth year for the Camp Hard Hat Program and it has been growing. This year there are 20 kids involved, seventh- through ninth-graders, from area schools.

Osborn says this year there are two projects being worked on.

A 100-foot boardwalk with a 24-foot bridge and a 16-foot bridge near Area D on the Conservation trail.

For the last three years the program has been using recycled guard rail systems and trusses from the Batavia Downs roof system that was dismantled. The lumber was purchased through a grant.

“We want to show them that there are options out there other than a college education,” says Radesi.

“Apprenticeships are something this country was built on and they are a free way to get an education.”

Radesi said there is a skills gap right now and the whole industry is hurting for employees and leaders.

“There is high demand for skilled laborers and this group of kids can make a lot of money in the next 10 years.”

On Wednesday, the Hard Hat crew was working on the boardwalk.

Isabela Braun, of Le Roy, and Emma Osborn, of Oakfield, are both freshman and in their second year of being involved with the weeklong camp.

“I get new skills that I will be able to use for the rest of my life and I will be able to get a job without having to go to college and get all that debt,” says Braun.

“I feel proud cause you will see it there for a long time.”

Emma Osborn says having the experience from last year helps the new kids involved in the project this year.

“They know we know what we are doing and we can help build the mindset of others,” says Emma Osborn.

“It feels like you are bringing something else here that needs to be done.”

At the end of the project, a sign will be erected that lists all the kid’s names who were involved in the project along with the major sponsor’s names.

“They will be able to bring their parents, their grandparents, then as they get older, their kids to see their work.”

Park Supervisor Paul Osborn says he is not sure what next year’s project will be, but it may include some plumbing and electrical work and a mock wall.

“This is a great program for the park and it allows us to connect with the community and with the kids, a lot of these kids would never come out here,” says Paul Osborn.

To check out the camps offered for next year visit


Construction on East Main Street

By Traci Turner


National Fuel is doing repairs on gas lines on East Main Street, Batavia. The sidewalk is closed in front of the former Carr's department store. The construction is expected to be completed in a few hours.

New Tuesday Night Build

By Jessica Maguire-Tomidy, Ex. Dir.

We have a new Tuesday evening build for those who are unable to help out during the day and for those who have Saturdays full!!

We meet every Tuesday evening from 5p.m.- 8 p.m. right now at the Habitat Center 230 Ellicott St.  We need people to paint, tile, and organize and price items.( The old Christinas Building). This will be the home to our new RESTORE ( which will be open to the public soon!) 


Event Date and Time

Site Supervisor Needed

By Jessica Maguire-Tomidy, Ex. Dir.

Habitat for Humanity of Genesee county is seeking a volunteer site supervisor for our current build at 104 North Street. Batavia.

The site supervisor would work alongside our volunteer coordinator and help train and lead a work crew of about 5-15 people. 

The individual must have experience in residential construction and committ to leading a crew 2x a month on either Wednesdays or Saturdays. 9a-3p.


For more information or if you are interested in this position please call us at 585-345-1656 or email us at



“Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.”

Ellicott St Road Work

By Chelsea O'Brien

Next summer the state has proposed that Ellicott St will go down to 1-lane for each direction, have a turning lane, and parking on both sides. They will supposedly mill it down 2.5 inches, and re-fill it 2 inches.

However, this morning they are working outside of our house, jackhammering and making all sorts of noise. I'm not impressed.

Construction woes on Randall Road

By Amy Weidner

I'm sure you've heard the joke that in Western New York there are only two seasons - winter and construction. Around this time of year, the road work wraps up and we are able to enjoy the results of our paid taxes. Unfortunately, not all taxpayers are pleased.

This was the first topic of discussion at the LeRoy Town Board meeting Thursday night. Randall Road resident Paul Mooney brought attention to concerns he had about the work done in his and his neighbors' front yards.

"They did the water project out there much to the dissatisfaction of almost all of the folks on that short strip," he complained.

"I think my driveway is the biggest problem that I have. Installing the pipe along the road required that the construction company dig up a good portion of residents' lawns and driveways to complete the project. When they finished, the way they repaired the lawns and driveways were not up to everyone's standards.

Mooney was left asking, "...where do we go from here?" The board assured him that they would have the work reviewed again, but other residents have taken repairs into their own hands. Another Randall Road resident spent over $1,000 of her own money to have her damaged driveway repaired to its pre-construction condition.

While the building process was a temporary nuisance, the scars are here to stay. The driveways show apparent damage that no homeowner wouldn't appreciate. When does improvement become damage? 


This driveway shows a wide strip that was taken out along with a concrete patch placed there to repair damage. There are no plans to bring the property back to its original state.


NOTE: Randall Road is a county road and the construction was carried out with the Genesee County Highway Department, not the Town of LeRoy Highway Department.

Walker Road (Alexander) Road Closing

By Timothy Hens

The Genesee County Highway Department will be closing Walker Road in Alexander, between Hickox Rd and Gillate/Seward Rd for a bridge culvert replacement.  The road will be closed starting Monday, September 21st for approximately 2 weeks.

Oakfield-Alabama Central School will finish $6 million dollar project before school starts

By Brittany Baker

Oakfield-Alabama Central School has $6 million to spend on building repairs, new technology and safety measures for its students, thanks to an EXCEL grant they got four years ago.

“The best part is, there is literally no (additional cost) to the taxpayer…” said Christopher Todd, OA superintendent. “We will not go over our $6 million dollar cap – although we plan to get as close as we can.”

First, OA will spruce up the memorial site in the front of the building. A light will illuminate the flag and new greenery will make the site more eye-catching.

Part of the grant money has been dedicated to making the schools more energy efficient, so new heating/AC units were installed in the elementary school. The new units will also be cheaper to maintain if they happen to break or need repairs. “Here at OA, we like to make sure our kids are cool!” joked Todd.

Parents will have no reason to sweat this year when it comes to the safety of the students during school hours. New doors were installed in the lobbies of both the elementary and high schools – doors that will only open if visitors are approved and buzzed in. The offices in both schools have been remodeled to make this an easy process. (Below is the new elementary school office.)

The biggest changes that affect parents of OA students are the drop-off zones for each school. At the elementary drop-off, parents and their children won’t have to avoid the giant puddle of water that seemed to always form directly in front of the school. The drainage system will be repaired before the beginning of the school year. (When this picture was taken, it hadn't rained for about two days.)

 The drop-off system at the high school has been improved as well. Since the Department of Transportation mandated that the school move its main entrance, parents have the front of the building all to themselves. That includes the new three-lane roadway that extends across what used to be the school’s front lawn.

“It will be much easier for parents to make quick drop-offs, it will keep traffic off the main road, and they won’t have to interfere with the buses' drop-offs either,” explained Todd.

So where will the buses load and unload their students if they’re no longer at the front of the building? Well, it’s hard to see from the road, but behind the middle school there will be a new circle for buses only. There used to be a small administrative parking lot in that area.

“I told [fellow administrators] they couldn’t complain, because I’m losing my parking spot too!” laughed Todd, “I’ll be parking way out there!” he said gesturing toward the far end of the student parking lot.

Also, another roadway will stem from the new bus circle and head straight back for the football fields to a small handicapped parking lot. 

Athletes in OA will benefit from this grant too. The football fields will have new lights, the track will be resurfaced, and ball fields will get new clay and dirt skins called “baseball mix." Plus, a few machines in the fitness center are being leased – they’ll be easier to replace if they happen to break or need repairs.

Physical activity is important to elementary students too, so they’ll be getting a new playground behind the cafeteria. All the pieces have arrived, but the playground itself may not be finished before school begins. All other construction is scheduled to be finished by the time school starts next month.

Oakfield begins Farnsworth Avenue upgrade next month

By Brittany Baker

Compared to the spiffy new Main Street in Oakfield, Farnsworth Avenue is in pretty bad shape. There are uneven sidewalks, cracks in the road and sagging sewer grates.

Mayor Richard Pasteki said it's "deteriorated to the point where there's cracks, chunks and caved gutters..."

At last night's Oakfield Village Board meeting, it was agreed to begin construction on Farnsworth Ave on Aug. 15.

The board decided to go with D & H Excavating to carry out the project, not only because it found  $866,000 to be an agreeable price, ($160,000 less than the closest bidder above), but because it will be a "nice-sized project for a small company."


Construction on Farnsworth will connect directly to Main Street. The water lines will be redone, too.

 "I can't tell you how old those pipes are!" Mayor Pasteki said jokingly.

He's got high hopes for the town's very near future. Besides the Farnsworth project, the trustees voted to fix the town's water tower (yes, the one built in 1915!) and revamp the sewer system in a way that could save the town around $30,000 a year.

Also, Mayor Pasteki admitted to pulling weeds in Triangle Park this week.

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