Canastota School Districts presnts school proposal

The Canastota School Board presented the public with information regarding the $59.9 million school building proposal during a meeting Feb. 8 in Roberts Street's auditorium.

The proposal includes a new Pre-K through fifth grade school building, a new transportation facility and renovations to the middle and high school.

Board member Steve Stokes said that looking at the situation, now is the time for the project.

"I believe we can pay it forward for our kids," he said.

Superintendent Fred Bragan said the district had looked at several factors including the current facilities, enrollment and space to develop the proposal. According to Bragan and Matt Stevens, School District Business Leader, 58 percent of the project is aid able with a current state ratio of 90.1 percent. However, he said that could be reduced by 10 percent in the future.

"If we wait, it could almost double in cost," Bragan said.

Bragan said two of the biggest issues are space and enrollment. With 94 students registered for kindergarten, he said that's the highest it's been a long time.

"I don't know where we're going to put them all," he said. "We're simply out of space."

Other concerns presented included safety code violations in the science labs, students having to cross the parking lot to get to the playground and an inability to control the building's temperature.

"We believe in this proposal. It's up to the community now," Bragan said.

Following the presentation, interested community members were invited to pick up information and ask questions of teachers and others involved in the project in the gym.

Theresa Loring, who bought a house in Canastota last year, said that she was just starting to take a look at the project.

"It makes sense to take advantage of the cost-effectiveness right now," she said.

For Imogene Downer, she saw the issue facing the school district as more of maintenance one.

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