BOLIVAR — Voters in the Bolivar-Richburg Central School District will cast ballots Tuesday on a proposal for more than $11.25 million in capital improvements.

The public vote on the project will be noon to 8 p.m. in Room 113 of the middle/high school.

Some highlights of the project:

• New STEAM classroom on the first floor of the middle/high school. A space will be renovated to accommodate science, technology, engineering, arts and math learning, along with a computer lab.

• All locker rooms will be renovated with new locker and restroom layouts to provide more modern settings.

• Existing music rooms will be renovated to add offices and sound-insulated practice rooms to each space. Each room will receive upgraded finishes, while new instrument storage space will be added.

• A new concession stand will be built in the loading dock area adjacent to the middle/high school gymnasium, providing a controlled-traffic area to and from the gym.

Throughout the district’s building sites roof repairs are planned, while at the middle/high school the parking lot will be repaired, the loading dock will be upgraded and the football grandstand area will be improved.

Also in the middle/high school, there will be ventilation upgrades, new hallway lockers, restroom improvements, a rotunda column cover replacement, new backboards and HVAC upgrades in the gym, sound-system upgrades in the auditorium and home economics room renovations.

District Superintendent Michael Retzlaff has said the project, several years in the planning, will not impact residents’ tax rate as the local share, $1,025,000, is set aside in a capital improvement fund. The district will bond more than $10 million needed to wholly finance the project, with the expectation that the state will reimburse the district for the bond payments.

“The community will see a zero percent tax increase as a result of this project,” Retzlaff said recently, noting that several areas of “high need” were identified during the district’s five-year capital planning study.

The project also calls for enclosing the roof structure at the baseball grandstand and new soccer dugouts and a scorer’s shack, playground surface repairs and a new softball batting cage surface at the elementary school site.

In addition to roof repair, the elementary school building will receive ventilation upgrades and a new boiler, new flooring, new storage, new backboards in the gym and cafeteria improvements.

The old Richburg bus garage will be upgraded and the district garage will receive new doors, bus-washing equipment and ceiling fans as well as a new lift for bus repairs.

Retzlaff said if the project is approved by voters, the district’s planners and architects would finalize any details in the spring and then submit the plan to the state Department of Education for approval.

The project would be bid out to contractors and it is expected that work would start in the summer of 2021, possibly extending through the summer of 2022.

Jim Eckstrom is executive editor of the Olean Times Herald and Bradford Publishing Co. His email is jeckstrom@oleantimesherald.com.)

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