Gym remodeled as CV finishes capital project

Ready for hoops

Submitted Photo Cassadaga Valley’s newly remodeled middle/high school gymnasium features a new score board, new flooring and a dedication to long-time Cassadaga Valley teacher and coach, Art Asquith.

SINCLAIRVILLE — Just in time for basketball season, the newly remodeled gymnasium at Cassadaga Valley is complete. This and several other capital improvement projects inside the middle/high and elementary schools are in the finishing stages, which was discussed during a recent board of education meeting.

“Most of the space that we were starting the school year without, we are getting back,” Superintendent Chuck Leichner stated. “Staff members are in the new main office in the elementary school, and staff will be in the new main office of the middle/high school next week.”

Recent snowy weather has also been a good test of the new snow melt system that is part of the ramp leading into the middle/high school main entrance, which was part of the capital project completed over the summer. Early Wednesday morning, when Cassadaga received nearly two feet of snow, Leichner drove to the school to determine whether or not to cancel. “As soon as it became daylight, I took a look, and the whole front of the building was without snow because the new snow-melt system that keeps it warm,” he said.

“When kids are dropped off for the bus, it’s dry, which means less water and snow is tracked into the building, making it a lot safer.” Leichner pointed out that the new heated ramp also eases the burden on the handful of staff members who are keeping the parking lots, driveways and other walkways clear during snowy weather.

During the meeting, members of the board of education approved corrective action plans (CAPs) in response to findings in the annual external audit and the citation for fund balance management by the state comptroller’s office, announced in September. The corrective action plans, which will be implemented before the start of the next school year, are meant to reduce budget appropriations by keeping reserve funds within the state’s limits, a challenge that multiple school districts, including Fredonia Central School and Westfield Academy and Central School, were also cited for earlier this year.

During the Administrator’s Reports portion of the meeting, Josh Gilevski, elementary school principal, shared the kindergarten through fifth grade class trips to Harvest View Greenhouses in Fredonia. “The Harvest View team also spoke to our students about what it means to family farm and the importance of family as the driving labor force behind the growth and future of family farming,” Gilevski reported.

Earlier this fall, local fire departments from five units, including Cassadaga, Gerry, Sinclairville, Stockton and Emergency Services came to speak to elementary students about fire safety and prevention. The firefighters demonstrated their gear, showed students how to react to various scenarios, and allowed students to tour their fire trucks and learn how they work.

Middle/high school principal Scot Stutzman was pleased to report that since the beginning of the school year, middle and high school students have been enjoying the new tower gardens. “So far, we have used basil and parsley in our chicken noodle soup, which was prepared in our Food 1 Class, and we hope to use the tomatoes and peppers in the near future,” Stutzman said. “We also harvested lettuce, which was sent home with several students and used in our concession stand.” The gardens are a part of a grant that was recently received; after documenting use and growth for a year and a half, the two tower gardens will officially belong to the district, Stutzman explained.

Spanish students recently enjoyed hands-on learning opportunities, including a cultural dinner and dance, hosted by Forestville Central School, and a performance of the Hispanic Flamenco Ballet in Tonawanda, in which some students took part.

The next meeting of the Cassadaga Valley Central School Board of Education is Monday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Sinclairville Elementary School cafeteria.