Tonawanda News

June 13, 2013

Ken-Ton expands building plans

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — The Ken-Ton school board has directed Superintendent Mark Mondanaro to obtain appraisals for two district buildings that were not evaluated as part of the consultant's consolidation report. 

Mondanaro said Wednesday that he'll acquire estimates for the administration building located at 1500 Colvin Blvd., and the building and grounds offices which are located directly across the parking lot. 

"The property will be evaluated as two buildings in one," Mondanaro said. "You can't sell the second building alone." 

The Philip Sheridan Building on Elmwood Avenue will also be evaluated. 

The appraisals are part of Ken-Ton's ongoing consolidation project aimed at "rightsizing" and saving money. The district's consultant, the SES Study Team, delivered eight consolidation options to the district in April. Although reactions to the options varied, many residents expressed concern that the district's other properties, such as Philip Sheridan, weren't included in the study.

Although the Elmwood Avenue property is longer used as a full-time school, the district does use it for the staff development center, the GED program and adult education. Parts of the building are also rented out. 

"Buffalo Turners Gymnastics is our biggest renter there right now," Mondanaro said. "There is also a daycare center, and a couple of other small renters." 

If the two buildings were sold, the district would have to relocate the administration offices as well as its operations in Philip Sheridan. 

"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but selling the buildings is only a one-time revenue boost," he said. 

There will also likely be a cost associated with moving operations from the three buildings. 

"We would have to determine what that would be," Mondanaro said. 

The district's next step in the consolidation project is the SES' release of its final report in late June. The report will include feedback from the focus group of residents that ranked the eight options on Saturday. 

The group preferred option G, which would close Kenmore Middle and Holmes Elementary schools. Under that option, grades nine through 12 would report to Kenmore East and West, while Franklin and Hoover Middle Schools would serve grades six through eight. Pre-K through eighth grade would report to Edison, Franklin, Hamilton, Hoover, Lindbergh and Roosevelt.

The board will hold a special meeting July 23 to meet with the focus group and go over the body’s recommendation. On July 25, the district will hold a board work session to go over each option in detail.

The analysis process will continue into the fall of 2013, and in late 2013, a preliminary analysis report will be issued. The final document will be released in January.

In February 2014, the board will vote on whether to adopt one of the plans.

“Depending on which scenario is voted on to initiate, if any, it is possible that the plan would not be effective until the 2015-2016 school year,” the district’s website states.