Tonawanda News

Local News

July 9, 2014

TCSD eyeing another capital project

Tonawanda News — The Tonawanda school board voted Tuesday to allow the district to send out a request for proposals for an architect for the Tona 2020 project, an endeavor that would consolidate the city’s elementary schools. 

“We would like the board to approve this so we can choose an architect so we can go to the state education department and see if it’s a project they would consider,” Superintendent James Newton said before the vote.

The project would cost $30 million to $40 million, and would include a capital project at Fletcher School that would allow it to accommodate the additional students. If the estimate is accurate, residents of a home that’s assessed at $80,000 would pay an additional $40 to $53 per year as part of the project.

To complete the project, the district would have to exceed its debt limit. To do so, a supermajority of voters, or 60 percent, would have to approve the project, as well as the Board of Regents and the state comptroller’s office.

Board members expressed concern Tuesday that the community may not approve the project so quickly after the most recent capital project. At the time of the vote, the district will already have spent money on the architect’s fees.

“I am just concerned it is so close on the heels (of the last capital project) and we are asking for more money,” board member Jennifer Mysliwy said. “But I do support this project.”

Newton said the RFP will allow the district to assess the cost of the architect and the project before moving forward.

The board also held its reorganizational meeting on Tuesday and unanimously appointed Jennifer Mysliwy president and Danielle Opalinksi vice president.

Stuart, the board’s former president, nominated both Mysliwy and Opalinski. Mysliwy served as vice president this past year as well as from 2011 to 2012. Mysliwy, a stay-at-home mom who also works at MusicalFare Theatre, has served on the board for five years.

Opalinski, a stay-at-home mother of six, is also serving her second full term on the board. She replaced Lynn Casal after she resigned in 2013 and then retained that seat in the following election.

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.

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