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District eyes Excel, building proposition

Superintendent Susan Swartz asked the Scotia-Glenville Board of Education for a clear direction at the Monday, Dec. 10, meeting, direction on where and how the district wants to spend money. Swartz said while she knows that the Excel money given by the state does not have an exact time periodot be used, she warned that funds need to be properly allocated so that the district is assured they will have the money.

In addition to an Excel project, the board is also looking at a possible building proposition that could include new district offices and long-awaited improvements to athletic fields.

We need to decide what our critical needs are and try to break down the total cost of those items and see which ones are eligible for the Excel aid, Swartz said. "I need to get a sense of what the board's desires are. In order to fund a building project, we may have to look at lowering the enrollment at one school in order to allow expansion for district offices. I need to know where you as a board stand on these issues."

Board member Ben Conlon said in order to tackle a major building project, he feels there should be an effort to avoid an impact on taxes. He said that since he first sat on the board almost four years ago, enrollment in the district has decreased from 1,600 to under 1,000. He said he does not agree with financially supporting a fourth elementary school when the numbers are not there to keep it open and running,

"It doesn't make sense to support all the schools currently in operation," he said. "It is not the worst thing in the world to have to close a school. We have had to do it before, just as we have had to open a school to support growth. You may get a few people here who are loud and upset but if you cannot support at least two sections at each grade level per school, it doesn't benefit our children's education," said Conlon.

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