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School Upgrades to Begin Soon

By Cynthia Bianco

Cynthia Bianco

While we are all waiting for warmer weather for its own sake, in the District we are anticipating summer months even more eagerly because summer will bring the opening phase of our Inventing Tomorrow Capital Projects. Exciting work will take place at schools and facilities that will benefit our students.

Kalfas Magnet Elementary School will see significant and overdue improvements that students, parents, and staff will really appreciate. The portable classrooms will be removed and six temporary classrooms constructed to fill the gap while permanent classrooms are built. A new library/media center will be a big upgrade for our magnet school, and the installation of a full-service kitchen is bound to be a popular improvement! Outside, the courtyard will get a new playground, and inside a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) lab will be added to really make Kalfas a showcase school in Western New York.

While construction will cause a period of inconvenience, we are working hard to keep that minimal and to complete the work as quickly as possible. An informational meeting for the surrounding community will be held at Kalfas School in June.

Other schools scheduled to get STEM labs in summer or fall include Geraldine J. Mann Elementary School and Maple Avenue Elementary School. Each school will also receive the infrastructure to support wireless capabilities. Eventually, all schools will receive STEM labs and the necessary infrastructure for wireless, allowing our students to keep pace with the best instructional practices in use today anywhere.

At Harry F. Abate Elementary School, the auditorium will undergo upgrades, including allowing for handicapped accessibility and the installation of permanent seating in the forum - a much needed addition to Abate School.

While some of the capital projects may be of a more mundane nature - our prep schools will have their roofs repaired or replaced, for example-others will be exciting for the whole community. Work will begin this summer on the 13,000 square foot field house at Niagara Falls High School, which we aim to complete in April, and on the artificial turf installation on the junior varsity and varsity baseball fields as well as the new football/multi-use field, to be located in the vicinity of the current running track. This field will accommodate not only football, but soccer and lacrosse as well. We are currently seeking State Education Department (SED) approval on these plans, having secured the Greenway money to fund these particular projects.

While we continue to plan each phase of the work to be done, we are also working closely with SED to ensure compliance with all requirements and maximum reimbursement for all projects eligible for state aid.

We in the District sincerely appreciate the public's support of these capital improvements which will directly impact students and improve their educational experience. These improvements will also benefit the entire community, young and old alike. We are proud, with your help, to provide Learning for All ... Whatever It Takes.




Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Apr23, 2013