Ti school, IP hope to gain grant for proposed project

TICONDEROGA If Ticonderoga Central School District voters approve a proposed $23.8 million building and renovation project, school officials hope to partner with International paper Co. to defray the cost to taxpayers.

Superintendent John McDonald said the district will work with IP to seek a U.S. Department of Education Qualified Zone Academy Bond for an interest-free loan of $2.7 million. As part of the required business contribution, IP will match 10 percent of the loan.

The $23,872,700 project is eligible for 60 percent state aid, which would leave local taxpayers responsible for $13,660,309. McDonald said that equates to $75 a year for a resident homeowner with a valuation of $100,000 starting in 2010 for 20 years.

Voters will have their say on the proposal Sept. 25. Voting will be noon to 8 p.m. in the Ti High lobby and at the Hague Community Center.

If the Ti district receives the Qualified Zone Academy Bond, it will be required to create a zone academy.

The academy, McDonald said, will teach workplace skills such as organization, work ethic, meeting deadlines and more.

We will integrate those skills into our curriculum as well as teach them in specialized courses, McDonald said.

The superintendent said the proposed building project is necessary to prepare the district for the 21st Century.

The high school, which was built in 1929 and had an addition in 1958, and the middle-elementary school, built in 1967, dont meet all the needs of students, he said.

The high school proposal calls for:

construction of a three-floor addition on the Amherst Avenue side of the high school to house technology, music and art instruction;
moving the principals office, now on the second floor, to the space vacated by the art room adjacent to the buildings front door;
building a secure vestibule at the school entrance;
moving the district office from its current building on Amherst Avenue into the school space vacated by the technology room;
replacing all the buildings windows with energy-efficient windows;
renovation of the high school gym lobby and locker rooms;
moving the guidance office to the current principals office and expanding the library into the space vacated by guidance; and
redoing the gym floor.

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