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Moriah school project proposed

PORT HENRY - The state has offered Moriah Central School a deal too good to pass up.

The state is willing to pay the entire cost of a proposed $9.9 million building project.

"We may never have this opportunity again," Moriah Superintendent Bill Larrow said. "We have to exploit every funding opportunity we can to benefit our taxpayers and students. This is a great opportunity."

While there is no cost to local taxpayers, the project must still be approved by district voters.

A public information meeting on the proposed project will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, in the school auditorium.

The vote on the project will be Wednesday, March 3, noon to 8 p.m. in the central office lobby.

"This is money the state education department is willing to give us," said Tim Breeyear, Moriah school board member. "It would be crazy for us, as a board, not to take advantage of this opportunity. If we don't take this money, it'll go to another school."

Larrow and Breeyear said the project would address issues such as a new roof and the replacement of existing heating boilers - maintenance items will have to be completed in the near future at taxpayer expense if this proposal is refused.

"We're always looking for ways to keep our building up to date," Larrow said. "This is an opportunity to address needed issues without them costing local taxpayers."

The project would include $3.5 million for roof replacement, $1.18 million for boiler replacement and heating system upgrades, $1.2 million for pool renovations, $605,000 for window replacement and repair, $564,000 for a cogeneration study and connections to utility grid, $456,000 for technology infrastructure upgrades and $783,000 for ventilation improvements.

The project would technically be an extension of a 2006 project that is nearing completion at the school, Larrow said. That $7.5 million project was also at no cost to local taxpayers. Like the proposed project, those costs were covered by 96 percent state aid with the remainder coming from the state's EXCEL program, a one-time funding offer.

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