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The Times
  • Dolgeville school capital project remains in planning stages

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  • On the stage of the Dolgeville Central School auditorium, district Superintendent Christine Reynolds showed off part of one of the curtains that has a strip of duct tape on it.
    “The curtains need to be fireproofed and cleaned,” said Reynolds. “And that’s getting difficult to do since they’re falling apart.”
    Repairs to the curtains and the rest of the auditorium, along with other areas of the school district, are being considered for a capital project proposal.
    The Dolgeville Central School Board of Education met with architectural and construction firm representatives last week to discuss a possible timeline.
    Reynolds said no action was taken during the special meeting.
    She said the board is still in the “planning process” and will likely make a decision in either November or December about a possible timeline.
    “We were presented with five options for a timeline for when to go to referendum and start the construction phase,” she said.
    Reynolds said the earliest they could possibly go to referendum would be February 2014. The earliest any work would begin in this option would be in the spring of 2015 because the project would need to go through the design phase and be approved by the state Education Department. Reynolds said they looked primarily at this timeline option because it would be the least expensive option due to inflation.
    “We’ve been contemplating this for a year now,” she said, about a capital project.
    Reynolds said it was a recent mandated building condition survey that brought these needed upgrades to their attention.
    Reynolds discussed the details of what would be included with the proposal. Besides the curtains, she said the project would include renovating the whole auditorium.
    “In the auditorium, everything is the original,” she said.
    Renovations would be made to the auditorium seating, since parts made to replace pieces of the seating are no longer available.
    She also said the lights need new rigging, which could become a safety issue.
    “We don’t want it to get to that point,” she said.
    Reynolds said the auditorium is one of the most utilized parts of the school district.
    “The auditorium has many purposes. It’s used for our morning program. Our chorus and band rehearse there. Pre-K through 12 uses it everyday,” she said.
    Improvements would also be made to the school cafeteria, which is original to the 1950s portion of the building.
    “We’re still using the same space to feed about three times as more kids,” said Reynolds, noting the addition of the elementary school and the annexation of the Stratford Central School District. “It’s really something that needs to be addressed.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Cafeteria staff currently need to go down one hallway, apart from the cafeteria, for frozen foods, and another for dry food storage.
    “We plan to centralize all that,” said Reynolds.
    Renovations to the cafeteria would also be made to expand on the seating area.
    “The cafeteria is at capacity all the time,” she said.
    Reynolds said the school’s parking lots and roadways are in “horrific condition.”
    She said they’ve been putting “Band-Aids on the situation for quite some time, and it’s been deteriorating. It can’t have Band-Aids any more.”
    The locker rooms would also be renovated in this project. She said the girls’ locker room dates back to the 1950s, and the boys’ locker room dates back to the 1980s.
    Reynolds said the project would also address some drainage issues behind the school, security cameras and asbestos removal.
    The original building was constructed in 1956. Then an addition to the building, which included the auditorium and the middle school classrooms, was made in 1969. Another addition to the building was made in the 1980s, when the elementary school on Main Street closed.
    Reynolds said overall, “our building is in fantastic shape. It’s been well maintained over the years.” She noted the project wouldn’t “increase in footprint to the building. These are all improvements and updates to the existing campus.”
    As for how much the work would cost, Reynolds said, “we don’t have a great estimate. We’re not at that point yet.”
    Reynolds said the school board is planning to have another meeting with the architects in two weeks.

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