OLEAN — Olean City School District administrators announced this week that the $16.15 million capital project that was approved by the voters in March 2016 for the upgrade of schools was completed on time — and well under budget.
Superintendent Rick Moore said the success of the project is the result of the “excellent services” of Young and Wright Architectural and Campus Construction Management Group.
He said the district is also thankful to its business administrator, Kathy Elser, who worked closely with financial experts at Bernard P. Donegan Inc. to ensure the budget came in within the original voter authorization.
He noted the project team managed costs so that the original estimate was less than the actual work completed. As a result, the district was able to complete additional work, such as adding floor terrazzo, wall tile and lighting to the basement of the high school.
Moore said students who have seen the high school basement have stated the area “does not look like a basement anymore.”
Moore complimented the board of education and the former superintendent, Dr. Colleen Taggerty, who created the plan prior to his arrival in the district, for implementing and executing a well-devised plan.
He said the district funded $4.7 million toward the project, which saved the overall project $3.8 million in interest over the 15-year life of the project. The district further reduced borrowing by $1.49 million by using the DASNY (the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York) as a funding source.
It was noted the district originally planned to borrow $15.2 million, but only had to borrow $9.9 million for the project, all of which saved the taxpayers.
Moore, who is in his 15th year as a superintendent, said that throughout his career he has been involved in capital projects.
“There is no better teacher than experience and what experience teaches you is to stay calm and have faith in the end result,” he said.
The work completed on the schools included the following projects.
East View Elementary
All classrooms were enclosed. Moore said this entailed the total reconstruction from the open classroom concept to individual classrooms with security and safety being the main priority.
A new main office was built along with the construction of a secured main entrance, and roof restoration and replacement.
A heated concrete entrance and landscaping were completed; building-wide HVAC upgrades were installed; and a new computer lab and new generator were added.
Also built was a special patrol officer station, which was not part of the capital project’s scope, but was added during the period of construction.
Washington West Elementary
Roof restoration was completed along with gymnasium window replacement; a new generator was installed; and the skylight was replaced. In addition, the gymnasium floor and stage floor were replaced with money from the General Fund.
Olean Intermediate Middle School
Roof restoration and replacement completed; a new parking lot and bus loop were constructed; and pool dehumidification unit was replaced.
Olean High School
Roof restoration and replacement completed; classroom doors were replaced; basement work was done; second- and third-floor renovations were completed; and new terrazzo flooring, new lighting and ceilings and new wall tile installed.
In addition, ADA toilet room renovations were completed on all floors; and new all single occupancy toilet rooms were installed in the basement.
Moore said all the work was done with the intent to keep the historic integrity of the 1930s architecture and design of the high school and to match previous work from other capital improvement projects.
He said the district plans to put another vote in front of the public in the spring for additional improvements and upgrades at the schools.
On a final note, Moore said the district wanted to thank the public, students, faculty, staff and all who “tolerated the many inconveniences” during the capital project.
(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)