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Capital Improvements Well Under Way at Schools

By Cynthia Bianco

Cynthia Bianco - Superintendent of Schools

Phase I of Inventing Tomorrow, the $66.7 million capital projects program approved by voters last February, is well under way. One of the most exciting pieces of the project is building Science, Technology, Engineering and Math classrooms in every school and making every school a wireless environment. To date, work to get wireless components in place at Maple Avenue and GJ Mann Elementary schools- the first to "go wireless"-is on schedule. Connectivity is being established and mini-laptops are on their way to the schools.

Eventually,1,289 such devices will supply 45 classrooms at those schools. Also included in Phase I is wireless completion at Harry F. Abate School and one-third progress at Niagara Falls High School.

Students and teachers at all schools will have the equipment they need to start instruction on the first day of school, whether wirelessly or in the traditional manner.

Construction or establishment of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) classrooms is also underway at these schools, and appropriate furniture will soon be ordered. The STEM classroom at GJ Mann is scheduled to be ready for use in mid-September; at Maple in mid-October.

Meanwhile, 145 construction workers have so far demolished the temporary classrooms at Henry J. Kalfas Magnet Elementary School and begun building permanent structures. The jobs are largely on schedule--or even a little ahead of schedule.

"Workers from trades and primes and Local 91 for the capital projects have all worked hand in hand with the utmost efficiency," said Deputy Supt. Mark Laurrie, who is charged with overseeing the projects in detail.

At Kalfas, the school community is looking forward not only to the technological and structural updates, but, understandably, also to the addition of a full service kitchen. They will have meals delivered one more year--this year-- before completion of that goal.

Students at Maple Avenue, Kalfas, and Mann schools will be especially happy to know their playgrounds are being improved, with new, safer, softer surfacing and equipment.

The second phase of the Inventing Tomorrow Capital Projects, which begins in spring, will bring similar enhancements to all the rest of the schools. It is anticipated this work will begin in May or June.

Many in the community are also excited about the work being done at the athletic fields. Here’s a look at that:

Installation of new running track began in late August;

installation of synthetic turf on football field has begun; both are expected to be completed in 4 to 5 weeks

In early September, the foundation will be poured for the 13,000 sq. ft. field house

Drainage and layout for the JV and Varsity baseball fields has begun with turf to be installed in autumn.

New 150-car parking will be centrally located.

The plan is for baseball and track to use the new facilities in spring 2014 and the Wolverines to kick off the football season in their new home in autumn 2014.

Meanwhile, the District encourages you to keep supporting your Niagara Falls High School Wolverines at Sal Maglie Stadium as football season opens this autumn. The District thanks all residents for their continuing support of its students in all their endeavors.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

SEP 03, 2013