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School proposal outlined

TICONDEROGA Kiwanian and Ticonderoga Central Schools Superintendent John C. McDonald, Jr., addressed the Ti Kiwanis Club last week, concerning the school districts pending bond issue for capital improvements to the districts plant.

The public vote on the proposed issue will take place between noon and 8 p.m. at the lobby of the Ticonderoga High School on Calkins Place and the Hague Community Center on Route 8.

McDonald stated that the proposed issue, settled at just under $23.8 million, had emerged from months of focus, discussion and negotiation by a district-wide committee of residents, school-district personnel and advisers that considered options ranging from about $19 million to some $37 million. The leaders of the committee had been residents John Bartlett, Steve Dunn and Mike Moser.

McDonald emphasized that the public presentation of the proposed program had been the product of that committee and that the public relations firm participating in the process had been provided as a service by the districts architects at no additional cost.

The prime movers of the project, McDonald reported, are inadequacies in existing structures whose age now extends from several decades to the best part of a century. Chief among those inadequacies are the buildings security shortcomings and their insufficiency to support what have become increasingly important aspects of the schools curricula.

Tragedies of the sort that have beset Columbine in Colorado, the Amish schoolchildren in Pennsylvania, the students at Virginia Tech and, just the week before, the high school in Vergennes, Vt., are what the new security measures seek to avert, said McDonald.

A principal security strategy which the remodeling plans adopt is the placement of principals offices at the schools entrances, requiring incoming and outgoing traffic to be funneled through appropriate centers for security control and coordination.

A second is the reconfiguration of the elementary and middle schools libraries as secure, center-structure havens in which students can be sheltered and from which potential threats can be locked out. No such facilities exist at present in these buildings, which would also be provided with redesigned drop-off, pick-up, parking and bus areas to improve traffic safety for students, parents and everyone else involved.

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