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Facility options mulled

TICONDEROGA The Ticonderoga Central School District facilities committee will present its findings and options for the future to the board of education June 19.

The panel has been studying the districts buildings the past 18 months, considering safety, technology, new programs, projected enrollment and more.

Superintendent John McDonald expects the committees work to lead to the proposed building project with a public vote in the fall. Just what that proposal will entail will be determined by the school board.

The committee will present the board with a lot of information and options, everything from a Cadillac to a Yugo, McDonald said.

Should the school board decide to propose a building project, McDonald said the district has a $2.7 million interest-free loan available until December 2007. To meet requirements of that loan a public vote will need to be held this fall.

McDonald noted the last major new construction in the district was 40 years ago when the elementary-middle school opened. The high school opened in 1929.

The superintendent said schools and student requirements have changed greatly, which means facilities need to change, too.

In 2004 Ti school district voters approved a $5.87 million renovation and repair project. The project dealt primarily with heating and roofing problems at the Ticonderoga High School and Ticonderoga Elementary/Middle School.

Replacement of the 50-year-old heating system at the high school cost $2,125,000. Roofing at both schools cost $1,672,000. Replacement of carpets and ceilings at the elementary/middle school, both damaged by a leaking roof, totaled $308,000.

All the work was included in a $17.7 million project rejected by district voters in 2003. A separate $2.8 million proposal for construction of a swimming pool at the elementary/middle school was also rejected.

That project also included:
renovating the technology/industrial arts class space;
moving district offices from the current building on Amherst Avenue, which does not meet federal handicap-accessibility laws and is in need of major repairs, to space in the high school;
building a new gymnasium with a suspended indoor running track to replace the 50-year-old gym that no longer meets specifications;
adding upgraded computer technology to district buildings;
replacing the roof and overhead doors at the bus garage; and
repaving and improving parking areas at district facilities.

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