Massena Board of Education could vote in April to hire firm for building consolidation study
Friday, March 17, 2017 - 8:43 am

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA — A member of the Massena Central Board of Education who chairs their facilities committee says he thinks the board will vote in April on hiring a firm for a building consolidation study.

“Looks like we’re going to try to hit the 25th for board approval, of April,” Trustee Kevin Peretta said.

Requests for proposals are due April 7.

In January, school board members said they were satisfied with a prior building consolidation study.

In 2014, they hired Bruce Fraser from the Rural Schools Association to look at the district’s building arrangement and make recommendations.

He suggested putting grades eight through 12 in the high school and five to seven in what is now J.W. Leary Junior High. Grades two to four and kindergarten through two would be in separate elementary buildings.

“I am completely opposed to Fraser’s recommendation. It doesn’t make pedagogical sense. [A grade] 8 through 12 building doesn’t make sense,” Trustee Loren Fountaine said at their January meeting. “Closing an elementary school would be very difficult for this community to swallow.”

On Thursday, Peretta said he and other school officials did a walk-through of Madison Elementary and are seeing problems district-wide that building consolidation could fix, but he would not talk specifics when asked.

“We continue evaluating the process of where we’re at and where we’re going to proceed … we see these issues … that need to be dealt with,” Peretta said. “I don’t want to get into specifics about anything. You’re going to have systems that get old and need to be replaced. Could be doors and kicks, entrances, accessibility upgrades, heating systems.”

Go to goo.gl/mJA9tO for more details about the board’s January consolidation discussion.