Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 25, 2013

Capital project planned

Niagara Gazette — Despite growing operating fund concerns, Lewiston-Porter leaders are still planning a $26 million capital project.

Due to the complexities of New York state's budget, though, the project, which would address many concerns at the district's high school, would have absolutely no effect on the district's year-to-year spending.

It's two completely separate piles of money, Superintendent Christopher Roser said.

"It's a totally separate pot of money from education," Roser said. "New York state sits over there with however many millions of dollars dedicated to capital improvement. It doesn't come over here to educational programming. And if we don't get our slice of it, quite frankly some other school will."

Construction would likely take place beginning June 2014 and be completed January 2016, according to architect Scott Jones of Gordon W. Jones Associates, the district's architect.

But nothing will begin until the voters in the district approve the project, which the district's school board is expected to schedule during the district's budget vote May 21. A special meeting of the board has been called for 5 p.m. tonight in the district's high school to finalize the project's referendum, as well as confirm the project's negative declaration in its environmental quality review.

The project will affect entryway into all four of the district's buildings as administrators keyed into ease of access following recent school shootings like the one in Newtown, Conn. this past December.

Roser said much of the project focuses on the high school, which was left out of the district's previous capital project due to a lack of money. It introduces a big entryway near the school's auditorium, which will offer a purpose for a second-floor hallway which currently is a dead-end.

But the highlight of the proposal is the construction of a new swimming pool for the high school, which will be built on the first floor. The goal, Jones said, is to create a swimming facility students can use for a long time.

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