by Kathleen Duff
At its Monday evening meeting, the Grand Island Board of Education talked about the proposed new transportation center behind Sidway School. Baseline Road residents were present again to listen for any updates. New to the discussion was a re-worked estimate from Campus Construction.
Director of Business and Finance Joe Giarrizzo reminded trustees that there are three options under consideration - titled red, white and blue - with details of each posted to the district's website (www.k12.ginet.org). Officials favor the white option, but it now has a price tag more than $1.7 million over the original estimate of $5 million. According to Giarrizzo, $850,000 of that amount can be taken from the district's $8 million "and change" in its capital reserve account.
The board and administrators view the white option as the best use of reserve funds. In addition, this option would re-use the existing bus garage for the district's buildings and grounds workers. They currently work out of a building at Eco Island on Staley Road. Current Eco Island exhibits and classroom space could then be moved into the substantially larger maintenance building at Eco Island, with the following renovations to make it more usable by students:
•Upgrades to comply with mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act
•Repair of cracked walls
•Telephone system upgrade
The board will decide on an option at the Sept. 10 meeting. Then, a minimum of 75 days is required before the option can go to public referendum.
Another recurring topic was the use by Niagara Sunday Fliers of a field on Staley Road. Resident Kristin Yiengst, who lives next door to the field, voiced concern about the club's radio-controlled models flying over her house during a recent demonstration club members put on for town and school board officials. Yiengst stables several horses on her property and was not allowed by the Town of Grand Island to board additional animals because of concerns for parking.
"I just feel as though there is no reason for it (the field) to be put right next to my property. Safety issue is big for horses ..." Yiengst said.
In a later interview, Yiengst stated that her horses are easily "spooked," and she is concerned they will be injured and need veterinary care. She also wondered if school buses will need parking space when the high school's technology classes use the fields in conjunction with the club.
Trustee Paul Krull said he attended the weekend demonstration and that the radio-controlled models were in the air "one plane at a time" and that club members are safety conscious and use a "buddy system" to train novices.
In other actions, trustees voted "Yes" on including information on the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) into the district's code of conduct. Training for staffers will be done annually. Also, the board awarded a blacktop and striping bid for the elementary schools to J & D Sealcoating in the amount of $31,000.
Finally, in his Superintendent's Report, Robert Christmann said that there is now equality in the music lesson schedules at Huth Road and Kaegebein elementary schools. All elementary music lessons will be 35 minutes each. In addition, he said that community and school staff will be planning special events for Grand Island High School's 50th anniversary.
The next meeting of the Grand Island Board of Education is Monday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Veronica E. Connor Middle School Little Theater, 1100 Ransom Road.
Board of Education Trustees
Send comments to the board at [email protected].