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Forestville weighs major improvements

FORESTVILLE — School board members received an update from Jeff Hazel of Young and Wright Architects about which areas of the school require the most improvement. Hazel presented three different scenarios of how the school board could proceed.

The first scenario included major repairs to the roof at the Forestville High School, and while the whole building doesn’t need an overhauled roof, there are areas they could address.

“At the high school and middle school, there are a couple roof areas that are critical,” Hazel said. “We would be looking to put a new roof on, removing some of the abandoned rooftop equipment as well.”

While Hazel said that parts of the high school roof were redone during a previous project, the elementary roof is in need of much more work. In order to get the project done, Hazel said that basically the entire roof needs replacement, plus more work.

“This also includes some tree removal,” Hazel said. “Some of the trees in the back are rotting out and really in danger of falling on the building.”

Hazel said replacing the roof would require removing damaged trees in order to access the roof. In addition, there would need to be work done on the skylights in the school roof, as well as removal of more abandoned equipment. Hazel also mentioned potentially replacing the ventilators at the high school and middle school, while the elementary school only has a few left to replace.

For the second scenario, the overall cost would be higher, but it would bump up the project size, all while keeping the same local share impacts through 2026. The most important features of the second scenario remain intact, with the focus being on the roof and ventilators, but all of the pneumatic controls at the high school and middle school would be replaced, while boilers and HVAC upgrades would come to the high school as well. Additionally, there would also be modernization for the elevators at the high school.

The third scenario project would cost even more than the second scenario. This would keep all the proposed changes from the first and second scenario, while it would also begin to cover bathroom renovations at the high school.

“This wouldn’t just be renovating the fixtures,” Hazel said. “This would be a full renovation to the bathrooms, including the plumbing that is in desperate need of repair at this school.”

The first scenario would come at a cost of $4,850,000, with none of it coming from the school’s capital reserve. The second scenario would cost $6,225,000, $300,000 of which could come from capital reserves, and the third scenario would be $7,750,000, which would take $600,000 from the capital reserve. Importantly with all these projects, Forestville Superintendent Renee Garrett said that Forestville residents would see no additional tax impact.

“The money that’s in our reserves is money we’ve already collected from taxpayers,” Garrett said. “And the state aid is from your state taxes that you’ve already paid, so there’s no additional tax impact… What we have in capital reserve right now is about $1.4 million.”

From here, Garrett said it is in the hands of the long-range planning committee, who will determine what scenario best fits the future of the Forestville Central School District, while considering what the community can support.

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