STAFF REPORT

From noon until 9 p.m. Tuesday residents of the Lockport City School District will have their say on the proposed $29.5 million capital improvement project for the high school.

Residents will vote on the project at their regular polling places for school board and budget elections. Absentee ballots, available at the district offices for those who will be out of town, must be received by Tuesday.

The project involves two propositions.

n Proposition 1 includes improvements to the high school, such as a state-of-the-art performing arts center, art gallery and a fitness center for gym classes. Smaller items such as new windows and new bleachers and padding in the gymnasium are also part of the proposition. An elevator would also be added, and bathrooms would be made handicap-accessible. The technology wing would also be updated, the library would be renovated to make room for a computer lab and bathrooms would be added nearby. Other improvements include relocating the Locust Street bus loop, a parent drop-off site on Lincoln Avenue, and improvements to ventilators and mechanical systems.

The proposition also includes a six-classroom addition, which covers the classrooms lost by adding the fitness center, and a new entrance to alleviate some of the congestion in the hallway. This proposition makes up about $23.5 million of the total project.

n Proposition 2 is a varsity sports complex, which includes a parking expansion, resurfacing of tennis courts and a varsity softball field. The stadium includes bleachers that seat 2,500, locker room, concession stand and an artificial turf field, which can be used by a number of school sports teams. It makes up about $6 million of the project.

The project carries no extra burden on the taxpayer, the district has said.

The district has said the project will be paid for in large part by the state. In addition to the 90 percent paid for by state building aid, about 10 percent comes from a reserve fund the district started in 2002 just for capital projects.

About $500,000 of the capital project’s cost comes from state EXCEL funding, which, like building aid, can only be used for capital project work. EXCEL aid cannot be cut by the state. The district has said that any cut by the state in building aid is unlikely, because a cut would not provide the state enough savings. That’s because aid is paid out over 15 years, and any cut would only be for the first couple of years. The amount of a project the state pays for locks in with a vote from the public.

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