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Pine Valley Capital Improvement Initiative To Focus On Safety

SOUTH DAYTON — Pine Valley Central School’s current plans for its Capital Improvement Project Initiative 2023 focuses on areas involved with health and safety, asset preservation and educational program spaces.

In both the elementary and high school buildings and the bus garage there will be long-awaited upgrades to specific areas. These areas include; for the Elementary School — a New Early Learning parking lot with parent pick-up and drop-off spaces, replacing baseball field fencing and adding a mow strip, putting in air conditioning at the Main Office and Nurses Offices, replacing asphalt access path to playgrounds, site upgrades such as site drainage improvements and a sanitary lift station replacement, and replacing a classroom rooftop unit.

For the junior and senior high school there will be; a new kitchen construction and faculty room relocation, auditorium improvements including new ADA compliant seats, replacing obsolete theater and house lighting, sound, projection equipment, and Audio Visual systems, replacing existing auditorium theatrical rigging equipment, replacing deteriorated sanitary piping, basement water mitigation and adding a privacy wall in the Girls’ locker room.

Other items planning to be worked on include; in the Bus Garage — replacing existing windows, replacing existing heating and exhaust ventilation systems, electric service upgrades for future Electric Vehicle bus charging; in the Water Treatment Building there will be new exterior Americans with Disabilities Act compliant restrooms near athletic fields and there will be a replacing of a door and existing roof hatch railing in the Press Box.

“The Capital Improvement Project Initiative 2023 continues Pine Valley’s long-range planning to identify current and future facility improvements,” interim Superintendent James Przepasniak said. “Our Board of Education has been reviewing the scope of this project for a year and a half. This is something we have been considering for a long time and we are pleased to present this plan to our community at zero tax impact. All of it will be 100 percent funded via State Building Aid, Retiring Debt and Capital Reserves.”

Przepasniak noted the suggested upgrades were identified in the district’s required Building Condition Survey via the New York State Education Department.

Public Relations Specialist for Gowanda, Pine Valley and Southwestern Central School districts via the Communications and Development division of Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, Erica Carlson said the project initiative follows the school reviewing their long-term goals and includes projects that have been wanted by both the school and community for a long time, such as the cafeteria in the high school and ADA compliant bathrooms by the athletic field. Carlson said these portions of the project will be the more immediately visible parts and allow for cafeteria employees to better serve students, along with providing convenience for community members attending public events

“A significant portion of the proposed project focuses on things we need to do to maintain our campus and keep it functioning efficiently,” Carlson said. “Some of these things may not be obvious such as site improvements like drainage repairs and pipe replacement and water mitigation so we want to be as transparent as possible about how these funds would be spent. We’d love for our district residents to know our intent is to enhance our students’ educational experience while positioning this district for success for generations to come.”

The school has been alerting the community of their plans in multiple ways. The initiative was shared with the community during the school’s open house on Sept. 21. Informational boards and documents are available in the main entrance foyer at the elementary school and the front entrance foyer of the gym at the high school. The district’s next newsletter, expected to be found in mailboxes in late November, will focus solely on the project. A community meeting is planned for Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the elementary library, and residents will be given a chance to speak. Following that the vote will take place from noon to 9 p.m. on Dec. 13 in the Junior, Senior High School Gym Foyer. This coincides with the Junior, Senior High School band and chorus concert at 7 p.m. that same night.

“The district hopes it is a draw that makes it convenient for qualified voters to cast their ballots and also enjoy a free and festive performance by its talented students,” Carlson said.

She added that the school is encouraging the community to practice their right to vote. She said the board has been putting a lot of work into the project and working to respect the community. There will also be no tax impact from the project.

The tentative project timeline after the vote sees the design phase happening from December 2023 to the summer of 2024, where the board will then submit the project design to the New York State Department of Education. After approval Carlson said the expected construction phase is expected to begin in summer 2025 and the project to be completed sometime in 2026.

“We talk about student health, safety and security and this project touches on all of those,” Carlson said. “We’ve been talking about some aspects of this project with the community for a long time. We can’t do it all at once and the school has been prioritizing what they need to. Some of these upgrades have been wanted for a long time.”

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