ECS Board Approves Capital Project

Public Vote Slated for Tuesday, March 19th

By Mark J. Ward, Superintendent

On January 22, 2013, at the regular meeting of the ECS Boardof Education, the board unanimously approved a $9,845,800 capital project vote to be held on Tuesday, March 19th from 1–8 p.m.

Over the past months dating back into the 2011-12 school year, the board has reviewed the District’s Building Condition Survey, had discussions with our engineers, sought financial projections from our fiscal advisors, conducted public meetings and thoroughly examined the facilities. While initially the “wish list” was much larger, we felt that it was important to address the most pressing needs with a cost effective project that would bring our facilities up to 2013 standards.

The board has carefully worked with our planners to design a project that takes our current “building footprint” and reconfigures the space to reflect the needs of 21st century learners. What was appropriate and state of the art in 1962 does not meet the standard in 2013.

We recognize that the community cannot afford an auditorium, but we believe we can improve our facilities in a way that will allow us to construct a multi-use gymnasium that can host athletic contests, concerts, assemblies, award banquets, testing, community programs and other special performances. The renovated gym will feature air conditioning, movable bleachers with seating for 780 on one side and a stage inside the gym (like the1887 Building), and 392 of the seats will have backs that will provide more comfortable seating for all events held in the gym.

The playing surface of the gym will be enlarged to meet the floor standards of today with more area on the sides and behind the baskets for safety. The multi-use facility will have improved seating, better lighting and sound, while providing a place that can showcase our students and programs.

There will be a movable wall that will separate the gym from the stage. The stage area will also be used as a large-group instruction room for distance learning, on-line learning and computer instruction. New and larger band and chorus rooms will be positioned on either side of the stage in a portion of the current gyms pace.

The project will also include 100-foot by 50-foot of new space on the back of the gym that will primarily house modern, updated locker rooms.

Other Project Highlights:

Lighting in both parking lots to address safety issues

Removal of original hall lockers

Relocate and expand weight room for student and community use

Asbestos removal

Handicap accessibility issues will be addressed

New lighting, fixtures, ceilings and flooring in all 1962 classrooms

Electrical service upgrades in older portion of building

Replace some roofing

Address moisture, ventilation and air flow issues in the elementary wing

Replace lighting on football/soccer field — originally installed in 1977

The project is designed to meet the 21stcentury needs of our students. The facilities will allow us to provide our students and community with a multi-use facility that will allow us to feature a variety of uses for the reconfigured space. This project will place our district in a strong position for the future by allowing us to modernize our facilities, maintain strong academic programs, offer opportunities for our students and continue providing the family-type atmosphere that is a signature of the Ellicottville Central School.

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