by Kathleen Duff
At its Monday evening meeting at Veronica E. Connor Middle School, the Grand Island Board of Education was updated on the district's multi-million dollar capital improvement project set to begin this summer.
Assistant Superintendent of School Business Services Joe Giarrizzo told trustees that construction bids will be out for one month, but contracts will not be awarded until the State Education Department approves the project plans. Giarrizzo anticipates approval around June 24, and the bidding process should "be wrapped up" by then as well.
Construction will involve all five district buildings over the next two years and includes a new transportation center behind Charlotte Sidway School. "This particular bus garage ... you're going to see people from other districts coming to see this," stated Interim Superintendent of Schools Paul Hashem.
Hashem also informed the board that new superintendent of schools, Dr. Teresa Lawrence, has been communicating with him via "multiple emails and phone calls" and planned meetings with administrators, building principals and union members before her official start on or about June 10. Hashem has also been adding to a "need to know" file for the new chief since he started his interim position with the district back in January.
He further stated that Lawrence will make the final decision on the new high school principal. Hashem said that, initially, five to seven candidates were considered for the position, but that four advanced to the next round of consideration. These were interviewed by committees comprised of school officials, community members and other "stakeholders."
The annual budget vote and trustee election is Tuesday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Grand Island High School main gym. Three people on the ballot are Donna Tomkins, Lisa Pyc and Paul Krull. The next regular meeting of the Board of Education is Monday, June 10. The tenure and retiree reception for teachers and other district employees is scheduled for the same evening.