Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

May 23, 2013

North Park renaming committee postponed

BY JOE OLENICK joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Lockport City Schools will postpone the creation of the committee charged with looking at the possible renaming of North Park Junior High School.

Originally expected to be named Wednesday night, Board of Education members decided to put off establishing the committee until the new board is seated in July. July 1 is when the new school year starts.

The reason for the postponement was that Trustee Jon A. Williams was not re-elected in Tuesday’s election, Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley said. He was expected to serve on the committee that would include North Park Principal James Snyder, a teacher, a student and a community member.

Former school board president Marietta Schrader was elected Tuesday with 868 votes, as was newcomer Todd McNall with 864 votes and incumbent Diane Phelps with 853 votes. Williams and incumbents Edward Sandell finished with 700 and 832 votes respectively, followed by Randall Parker with 551 votes.

When it is created, it’s expected the committee will take no longer than six months to complete it’s work and make a recommendation to the school board. The board would have to approve a new name with a two-thirds vote.

The idea of renaming the school came before the board about a year ago, when a group of residents made a request that North Park Junior High School be renamed in honor of Aaron A. Mossell, an African-American businessman who was instrumental in desegregating Lockport schools.

Most of Lockport’s buildings are named after an individual, save for the high school and North Park. North Park opened as an elementary school in 1940 on Passaic Avenue. It was a middle school until the district reorganized, moving all seventh- and eighth-graders to North Park and calling it a junior high school.

At Wednesday’s meeting, board members were grateful for the community’s support in Tuesday’s budget vote. The $83 million budget was approved convincingly with a 1,158-596 margin, roughly 61 percent of the vote. It was the second straight budget approved with over 60 percent of voters.

Last year, Lockport taxpayers voted 1,174 to 512 in favor of the budget, a 68.9 percent approval.

Voters also approved a $22.1 million capital project by a 1,097-606 vote Tuesday. The project will include a number of repairs and upgrades needed throughout the district, most of which were tagged in a state-mandated building condition survey. It will also include security upgrades and extensive work on kitchens in the elementary schools.

“We are thankful for the community’s support,” said Vice President David Nemi.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.