BCSD plans ambitious improvements

Ambitious renovations are potentially in store for the Baldwinsville Central School District pending a vote in February 2007.

According, to Michael Shusda, assistant superintendent, this would significantly improve the educational community of Baldwinsville in many ways.

The public voters have been extremely supportive of maintaining and preserving the facilities. It's a growing community, Shusda said. The population here wants their kids to have the best education possible, they deserve that. And they need the right facilities to do that.

A district wide long range plan was formed in 2004 and is expected to span from 2007 to 2024. Altogether this would cost approximately $143 million. The capital project cost summary of current plans would equate to approximately $40 million, and includes renovations on Baker High School, Durgee Jr. High School, Ray Middle School, McNamara, Palmer, Elden, Reynolds and Van Buren elementary schools.

[Improving existing layout]

A transitions committee was formed to decide whether the formation of grades was preferrable for students' learning. As is, the district is separated into kindergarten through fifth grade at all five elementary schools, sixth and seventh grades at Ray, eighth and ninth grades at Durgee, and 10th through 12th at Baker. In 2005 the committee agreed to keep the schools as they are.

We have a very high graduation rate and kids go to colleges prepared. This has worked for us in the past and it is proven in the Peters/Porter Feasibility Study that it works, Shusda said.

The district will make some necessary changes to the existing buildings.

At the high school, we're going to create a bus loop and a student drop off. As it is now, in the mornings, it's chaos. There will be new science classrooms, a bigger cafeteria and kitchen. We'll also make small, necessary changes, like replacing the gym roof and the bleachers, Shusda said.

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