Education board receives capital project update

If all goes as planned, enhancements to Fredonia Central School’s main campus and Wheelock School could begin in two years.

School officials received an update on improvements proposed within a capital project plan during a Tuesday board of education meeting. Brian Trott, Clark Patterson Lee architect, spoke to the board about the various projects within the plan.Initial plans show the district’s main campus undergoing $6.4 million in improvements. Some projects include replacing a majority of the parking lots around the building and replacing Ring Road. Other projects at the main campus include installing adequate drainage at the athletic fields, placing asphalt paths around the athletic fields and adding a girl’s team locker room to address a Title IX issue.

A new electronic front sign is also being proposed along with modifications to create secure main entrances at the elementary, middle and high school/district office.

As for Wheelock School, outdated and worn areas of the roof would be replaced along with masonry work and relocation of a generator. Improvements to the school total $1.8 million

Trott said board members would need to pass project resolutions next month. A referendum vote regarding the proposed projects could then take place Dec. 19.

“After the referendum passes, we’ll be able to get into the design phase,” Trott said.

Once approvals are garnered, the capital project plan would be submitted to the state Education Department. An initial timeline shows construction beginning in spring 2019.

School officials made several suggestions following Trott’s presentation. Initial plans detail asphalt path running from the tennis courts to the area of the baseball fields and around the track. A suggestion was made to extend the path to the soccer fields.

“We do have the ability to add more sidewalk,” Trott said.

Another suggestion detailed the installation of a waterline to the athletic fields. Trott said a line could run with the asphalt path.

Fredonia Superintendent Jeffrey Sortisio told the OBSERVER following the presentation that projects within the plan are needed.

“The majority of projects are things that need to be imperative in terms of the parking lot, locker room placements and projects like that,” he said.

In other matters, the board approved the appointment of Jessica Legere as district clerk and secretary to the superintendent. Legere replaces Wendy Heslink, who officially ended her 14-year career at Fredonia Central School on Wednesday.

The board accepted Heslink’s resignation earlier this month. Heslink noted that the school district made a good choice in Legere.

Sortisio said he received 20 applications for the job. After interviewing seven candidates, he said Legere clearly rose to the top.

“I’m excited about the opportunity for her and us,” Sortisio said.