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Pine Valley Prepares Vote; Down To 3 Super Finalists

SOUTH DAYTON — The Pine Valley Central School District is close.

The school district is currently gearing up for a Nov. 12 vote on a $9.8 million proposed capital improvements project that would take effect in 2021. The district is also down to three finalists in its search for a new superintendent that began last spring.

Recently, the board of education held community meetings where it hosted open discussion on the impending vote. Interim Superintendent James Przepasniak emphasized that the project, if approved, would have no impact on the future tax levy. He said the board, through use of capital reserve funds and projected state aid, intended on avoiding raising the tax levy.

The project will be funded primarily by 91% of state aid and 9% coming from reserves.

“Investing in our facilities is investing in our future and I would hope our community would come out and vote on Nov. 12 to support the initiative to enhance facilities and instructional classrooms for students and staff to learn and prosper well into the future,” Przepasniak said.

The improvements project, totaling $9,887,212, stemmed from a state-mandated facilities survey in 2015.

“The board identified those items that we would be put forward to the community and therefore the project — the scope of the project — was adopted by the board in September,” the interim superintendent said.

The focus of the project, Przepasniak said, is to improve the district’s building integrity, safety and security, instructional improvements and energy efficiency.

Some of the highlights of the project include creating a new Early Intervention Learning Center to enhance student learning at the elementary school; reconstruction of a CAD lab, a makerspace room, a wood shop, paint room and innovation room; constructing a new greenhouse lab; installing a 1/5 mile asphalt pathway for physical education; and expanding a district soccer field to 70 yards wide in size.

Other improvements of district property include updating facilities to be A.D.A compliant, fixing roofs, replacing sidewalks and improving general safety and security measures.

Przepasniak added that holding the vote in the fall will allow the school district to submit its project to the state Education Department sooner, if the vote is successful. Holding an earlier vote also allows for construction to potentially begin sooner, too.

As for a new superintendent, Przepasniak said the board was “getting close” to selecting a candidate. Scott Payne, former superintendent, officially left the district to become the district superintendent of Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES.

Board and committee members have narrowed the search down to three finalists. The final interviews for the remaining candidates are being conducted this week. Erie-2 BOCES District Superintendent David O’Rourke has assisted in Pine Valley’s interview process.

Przepasniak was confident that a new superintendent would be appointed at the Oct. 30 board meeting. He said the board intends to make the new superintendent effective Dec. 1, after Przepasniak’s interim term concludes Nov. 30.

“The board is hopeful they will have a candidate selected,” he said.

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