Tonawanda News

February 26, 2014

CITY: Architect to create Tona 2020 plans

By Jessica Bagley jessica.bagley@tonawanda-news.com
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The Tonawanda City School District will hire an architect to create plans for a Fletcher school campus that could accommodate all of the district’s elementary students, Superintendent James Newton said at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Last month, a committee charged with looking into consolidation options recommended that the district combine its three elementary schools into one location by the end of the decade. 

“I’ll be meeting with the Tona 2020 committee and we’ll be looking into things like ... the effect on utility costs,” Newton said.

Another capital project would be needed to accommodate the additional students at Fletcher. The plan will require the board’s approval and a supermajority of resident voters.

Dave Seiflein, of Pike Co., also presented an update on the district’s current capital project at Tuesday’s meeting. Contractors are currently working on renovating the high school’s band and choral rooms as part of the nearly $12 million project. Construction is expected to be complete in mid-June.

The district originally planned to complete additions at the school for the two rooms, but the bids for that portion of the project came in more than $600,000 over budget.

The board then decided to renovate the two rooms instead of completing the expansion. The work will include raising the roof of the band room and expanding the width of the choral room to provide more space and better acoustics.

Workers have been completing demolition work in the two rooms and have begun preliminary construction. The choral room has been expanded 4 feet into the hallway.

“We have been installing sound isolation that will help keep the sound from getting into the hallway,” Seiflein said.

The contractor did find unexpected asbestos hidden in the walls, and although it did not delay the project at all, some money will come out of the contingency budget as a result. Seiflein was unsure what that figure would be on Tuesday night. 

The band room’s roof will be removed in mid-March after the weather breaks.

“We are just getting prepped and prepared to take the roof down,” Seiflein said.

The contractor also completed electrical wiring at the schools during February break, and soundproofing material was sprayed on Mullen Elementary’s gym roof to prevent echoing.

“It’s a night and day difference, it turned out very well and there isn’t that tin roof effect anymore,” Seiflein said. “It was very bad.”

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