By Jann Wiswall

The ECS Board of Education met Tuesday, July 23, and conversation centered on the progress of the school renovation project approved by voters in March.

The project’s architects and school staff members are nearing completion of the detailed design plans needed for the project’s next phase, which is to attach firm cost estimates to the project.

As Superintendent Mark Ward said, if cost estimates exceed the approved budget, the board will have the difficult task of making some choices.

Ward and Board Chair Roger Spell filled the board in on some revisions and solutions the architects have proposed, including designs for the new main high school entrance, loading dock area and mechanical space, lighting the parking lot and football field, ventilation and drainage fixes for the elementary school, revisions to the multi-purpose room’s projection booth, and more.

Outside of the capital improvement project, the board also discussed planned renovations to the existing high school cafeteria’s stage area to repurpose it into dining space.

Middle/High School Principal Bob Miller reported that he has been to or is scheduled to attend several educational and informational meetings, including a BOCES meeting on regional exam scoring, a meeting on professional development, a Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) meeting on cyber bullying and codes of conduct, a Pathways to Graduation meeting and a special education meeting for principals.

The board took action on a number of resolutions and approved two major hires for the 2014-14 school year: Chad Bartoszek was hired as the new physical education teacher replacing departing teacher Tim Bergan, and Alice Alessi was hired as speech teacher, replacing speech and hearing handicapped services provided in the past by BOCES.

In addition, the board approved hiring ECS teacher David McCann to also serve as the modified volleyball coach for 2013-14.

The board also approved placing an announcement in the Olean Times and Salamanca Press newspapers regarding a public hearing concerning a proposed appropriation of funds not to exceed $25,000 from the Repair Reserve Fund to cover cafeteria rehabilitation. The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the high school library before that evening’s regularly scheduled board meeting.