Weekly Feature



2017-07-13 / Front Page

Superintendent shares timeline on EA district’s capital facilities project

by NICK KONOTOPSKYJ
Reporter

The East Aurora School District’s capital facilities project, which was approved in May 2016 in the amount of $23.5 million, is starting to take shape, and Superintendent Brian Russ gave an estimated timeline on the project at the School Board reorganizational meeting on July 5.

The information he shared pertained to bids for individual items of the project and the schedule of events for how those bids will get approved. The construction firm that was hired for the project is LP Ciminelli Construction, which was awarded the contract in September.

“We sent out a list of our cost estimates for the project, and below that we placed the alternates,” Russ said. “The facilities committee got together, as well as our attorney and financial advisers, just to go over how to proceed and review some of the challenges that we might run into. Once we have the bids, the architect and engineer will be able to analyze that, and then the attorney will be ready to prepare the resolutions for [School Board] approval on the 13th.”

Russ explained that the alternates are categorized into three groups, based on their importance. The highest priority for the district involved the turf fields and resurfacing of the tennis courts. Specific bid information, as well as board action on those resolutions, was not available at press time.

In another matter, the board discussed the 2017-18 district budget.

This year’s budget was approved with a 6.9 percent tax increase. Due to unexpected cost increases in the areas of transportation and special education, the board had to eliminate a budget gap that started off at $2.15 million. This caused a depletion in the district’s savings account in order to cover that gap.

Now, the district has issued a hard spending freeze in order to replenish the savings account. This means that for the coming year, the board will avoid additional spending, and if money is needed, the board will have to use other areas instead of its savings account.

“The board’s responsibility is to make sure we are really in a hard freeze and that we stick to it,” said board Vice President Jessica Armbrust. “It is not meant to be micro-managing, but it is to make sure that at the end of the year, we haven’t spent more than we meant to.”

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, in the library of the middle school, 430 Main St., East Aurora.

email: nickk@beenews.com

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