Board Appoints Wiley to Fill Cortez Seat

 By Jann Wiswall

The Ellicottville Central School Board held a public hearing on Tuesday, June 23, to allow public comment on its plans to use $70,000 of its repair reserve funds to replace and patch portions of the school’s roof. No one attended the meeting to make comments and the board approved the expense.

The board’s building, grounds and transportation committee were informed of the roof problems by the school’s maintenance staff and determined that the roof over the cafeteria must be replaced. The library wing’s roof, which was left in place when renovations to that wing were done, will be patched.

The board formally appointed James Wiley to a one-year term to temporarily fill the seat left vacant by Michelle Cortez, who resigned last month after one year on the board after moving out of the district. Wiley’s term will run from June 23, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

Wiley retired from the board last year after serving for 25 years.

The balance of Cortez’s five-year term will be filled by voters next spring during school board elections.

Construction Project Update

Workers will waste no time getting a long list of summer construction tasks done. On Friday, June 26, the day after school lets out for summer, crews will begin to break through walls and start bringing the old and new spaces together. Visitors to the school over the summer should be aware of ongoing construction activity and area closures.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Mark Ward said that he and a committee of staff members are looking at ways to use funds being made available to schools through the state’s “Smart Schools Bond Act.” ECS is eligible to receive $344,000 to be used toward capital projects that improve educational technology and infrastructure.

According to the Department of Education, bond proceeds may be used for capital projects to: acquire learning technology equipment or facilities, including but not limited to interactive whiteboards, computer servers, and desktop, laptop and tablet computers; install high-speed broadband or wireless internet connectivity for schools and communities; construct, enhance, and modernize educational facilities to accommodate pre-kindergarten programs and to provide instructional space to replace classroom trailers; and install high-tech security features in school buildings and on school campuses, including but not limited to video surveillance, emergency notification systems, and physical access controls.