Geneva Schools outline $12.3M upgrade project

The Geneva City School District is getting ready to modernize its four schools with $12.3 million worth of upgrades. The Phase 2 EXCEL capital project was approved by 76 percent of the 1,265 residents who voted Sept. 28. A total of 963 residents voted for the project, while 302 voted against it. The proposal required a 60 percent affirmative vote to be approved. The Phase 2 project, along with Phase I work going on now in the school district, are being done under New York State’s EXCEL program. EXCEL stands for Expanding our Children’s Education and Learning. The Phase 2 project’s local cost is just $2,879 per year for 15 years, and that cost won’t affect the local tax rate because the money is to be paid out of the district’s reserve funds. Ninety-three percent of the cost would be covered by state aid ­ building aid, incentive aid and reorganization aid ­ while EXCEL aid would cover the remainder. Superintendent Dr. Robert Young said that the design phase of the project will continue through next spring and plans are to be submitted to the state Education Department for approval in the summer of 2011. After getting this approval, the district will put out a request for proposals for the project and choose a construction manager/clerk of the works ­ the district plans to continue working with Tetra Tech Architects & Engineers, which has an office in Ithaca, Tompkins County. William McGuire, who is managing the Phase 1 EXCEL project for Tetra Tech, is to manage the Phase 2 work, Dr. Young said. The district hopes to award bids to a general contractor and subcontractors early in 2012, Young noted, so that work can begin in late spring or early summer of that year. Officials plan to start the project in summer 2012 with alarm equipment and phone systems at the two elementary schools ­ West Street and North Street ­ and then finish these buildings through the school year. They hope to start work at the Carter Road buildings of Geneva Middle School and Geneva High School in 2012, with the bulk of work at those schools to be done in 2013. Meanwhile, the Phase I EXCEL project should be completed next summer with the installation of air conditioning on the second floor of the Geneva Middle School, Young said. The district also was able to replace the boilers at the two elementary schools and upgrade the auditorium of North Street School because bids came in low for the Phase 1 project ­ $2.5 million lower than the estimated cost of $7 million. The latest Phase 2 project would complete the most critical work set forth in the district’s 2005 facilities review, Young said. Here is a sampling of the work to be done in the Phase 2 project, according to the district: Geneva High School – Install air conditioning in the three-story building’s top floor; replace lockers in main corridors and the boys locker room; install new roof; renovate large group instruction room and computer lab; new parent drop-off in the front of the building and new bus drop-off in the back of the building; recondition four tennis courts and add two new tennis courts; upgrade the track and field area; replace perimeter fencing at Loman Field; replace telephone system (one new system will replace five old systems); install wireless system with central access. Geneva Middle School ­ Add security at all exterior doors and security cameras at exterior locations; install electronic messaging sign; improve computer network hardware; install wireless system with central access. North Street School ­ Replace telephone system; replace 50-year-old fire alarm system; renovate space to create a band room for 100 students; install new ceiling in the gymnasium; install electronic messaging sign; reconfigure cafeteria’s serving line; install air conditioning in auditorium; pave areas at front and east of school. West Street School – Replace telephone system; replace 50-year-old fire alarm system; reconfigure cafeteria’s serving line; install exterior security cameras; install electronic messaging sign; improve the parent drop-off and bus loop area in front of the building; replace ventilation units; pave parking areas; replace perimeter fencing.

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