The school year is under way and construction at Dunkirk City Schools is almost finished.
At a board of education meeting Thursday, Superintendent Gary Cerne reported Phase I and II of the capital projects are essentially finished. He said the construction crews have cleared out and all that is left to do are "punch list" items.
"Phase I and Phase II are just about done there is just some touching up of paint, ceiling tiles and stuff like that but for the most part the major construction is all done," he said.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Gary Cerne (center) reported at the Dunkirk Board of Education Thursday construction projects are almost finished. Also pictured are Board President Kenneth Kozlowski (left) and Board Member David Damico.
The board approved a bid for the middle school interior reconstruction to Autumn Contracting with the lowest of eight bids at $260,900.
Cerne said Phase III of construction still has to be approved by the state Education Department, but if the approval goes through then the school will be accepting bids in January and construction will begin next summer.
"We'll be right back at it," he joked.
During Cerne's report he answered the question that has been on many people's minds - what is wrong with the sign in front of the high school?
Cerne said the school is working on the electronic sign which currently will not accept data to display, however the company the district bought the sign from 12 years ago has gone out of business. Cerne said if the district cannot find the parts to fix the sign, it may be added to Phase III.
He also went over several projects the district is now working on with the help of the city of Dunkirk.
The first has to do with leasing a piece of property near the main parking lot and auxiliary gym which the school already uses for softball and soccer, but would like to make improvements to.
"It is where our softball team plays and where our soccer team plays and we would like to lease it from the city to make improvements to it because we can't put money into it and we have to take control of it some how. So, leasing it is what our lawyers have recommended we do,"
He said in addition to improving the field the school would like to put in another driveway to the back parking lot to create second exit.
Cerne said the district is also working with the city to install a flashing light on Central Avenue near School Four.
"We're just a little leery, it is such a busy road. We have another flashing light on Route 60 but we thought over on Central near School Four that we would hope to make it a little safer with some school zone flashing lights. We are working with Tony Gugino and Dave Ortolano from the city to hopefully get those in before the snow flies," he said.
The board will next meet Nov. 8.
In other business:
The board approved transfers not to exceed $1,326,326 into the reserve for retirement and $500,000 into the reserve for unemployment insurance. Board President thanked Cerne and Business Administrator William Thiel for their good budgeting and looking to help the district down the road. Cerne explained the district had an unexpected surplus in last year's budget and in anticipation of future need, the district decided to add to its reserves.
The board appointed Michelle Poweski as .4 FTE high school physical education teacher and Tracy Schifano as .4 FTE middle school home and careers teacher. Schifano is also a .6 FTE high school math teacher.
The board also appointed teachers for the 21st Century Before/After School Program. Cerne said this is an enrichment program which is very popular and give many students extra learning opportunities.
Cerne was appointed lead evaluator for administrators for the school's APPR requirement. Lead evaluators for teachers were also appointed as David Boyda, Christopher Bulger, Judith Diem, Daniel Genovese, Allen Gens, Edward Hazen, Michelle Heenan, Roxanne Michalak, Marybeth Muldowney, Stephen O'Brien, Kisun Peters, Joanne Russo, Kimberlee Texter, Rocco Valone and Joelle Vanegas.