Smith Road Elementary Update

Renovations on Smith Road Elementary are officially underway. The elementary school, located at 5355 West Taft Road in North Syracuse, began asbestos removal last week, and will be completed by the end of August.

The $359,000 removal project is being conducted by Jag Environmental, LLC, of North Syracuse, said Wayne Bleau, assistant superintendent for management. Asbestos was found in the floor tile and adhering solution of the school, and while it is not currently harmful to the students, it must be removed before any renovations can be done on the school. The school will be closed during the removal process.

The asbestos removal is part of a $17 million contract to revamp the school, which hasn't been renovated since it was built in 1956. The North Syracuse Board of Education will award the general contract to the lowest bidder during its meeting on August 16, said Superintendent Dr. Jerome Melvin.

Renovations will begin in September, and will be completed within a year. During that time, students and teachers will move systematically throughout the building so that learning and construction can both take place without hindering each other, said Bleau.

The Smith Road renovations will not raise taxes for residents. Twelve percent of the project will be paid for will local tax money from the district's budget, and the other 88 percent of funding will come from building aid from New York State, said Bleau.

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