The Skaneateles school district is moving forward with plans to make major improvements to the middle school and high school buildings during the next six years at a currently-projected price tag of $19.5 million.
Details of the facilities’ needs and concerns, which have prompted the action, as well as a project timeline were discussed at length during the Jan. 8 meeting of the Skaneateles Board of Education.
Dale Bates, assistant superintendent for business and finance, and Vincent Sicignano, superintendent of buildings and grounds, gave a Powerpoint presentation of numerous photographs showcasing the problems and deteriorating conditions of the two school facilities, including ceiling, wall and floor damage in classrooms, hallways, the library and the boys and girls locker rooms; building cracks and needed exterior masonry repairs; unsuitable windows that are causing water leaks and damage; multiple areas of necessary asbestos removal and the need for new boilers and major mechanical improvements in both buildings.
“We are at a point where we need to move forward on this,” Bates told the board.
The high school and middle school buildings were constructed in the 1950s, and although there have been a few upgrades and renovations since that time, many parts of the structures are original and therefore more than 60 years old.
The district’s last major renovation endeavor, Project 2000, did not address most of these issues but was focused on library upgrades and student services in all four district schools, Bates said. That included increased classroom space, support service areas for special needs students, some building cosmetic work and creation of the current district office. Renovations to the middle school gym and locker rooms were initially part of the project but were removed due to rising costs, Bates said.
The Project 2007 renovation work focused mainly on State Street school with some work on the middle and high schools, and that was also when the artificial outdoor turf athletic field was installed at the high school.