Strategic Plan Extension in Development

By Jann Wiswall

At its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 4, Ellicottville Central Schools (ECS) Superintendent Mark Ward asked the school board to think about a new capital project that would repair/replace leaking roofs and pay for some projects that were eliminated for budget reasons from the capital project that is now underway.

The current project, which we’ll call capital project No. 1, is the $9.8 million renovation project approved by voters in March 2013 and is well under way. Demolition is complete, concrete work has begun and steel beams are set to be delivered in early December.

As Ward explained to the board (and in an article in the newest edition of the school’s newsletter, which is viewable now at, some of the original elements outlined in project No. 1 had to be eliminated for budget reasons. These included renovation of the southern entrance to the high school, security-related renovations to the two main front entrances and replacement of the roof from the southern entrance to the main office.

The new project — capital project No. 2 — would include those three projects plus replacement of the roof on the elementary wing. Ward characterized the roof replacements as critical due to last year’s harsh winter.

Ward emphasized that pricing has not yet been estimated for the project, however his best guess puts the cost at $900,000-$975,000.

No calculations of the cost to taxpayers had not been calculated yet either, but Ward believed it would be “negligible, particularly for those with STAR exemptions.”

If the board chooses to approve all or part of capital project No. 2, the proposal would be brought to a vote by district residents.

Ward asked the board to think about the idea and to be ready to discuss it over the next several months with an eye toward a referendum in January. His plan would be to complete the work while construction is underway on capital project No. 1.

In other business, Ward announced that interested parents, teachers, school administrators, community members and others are invited to attend a kickoff meeting to begin developing a five-year extension of the school’s 2009 strategic plan. The meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. Elementary School Principal Connie Poulin will lead the process.

The next meeting of the ECS school board will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library. All are welcome.