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COLONIE: Two become one

For Steele, having to serve only as principal will open up time to refocus Maplewood's educational direction.

"There will be a lot more focus on curriculum, structure and assuring the programs in place. Are they what they need to be and in alignment with North Colonie's?" said Steele.

Looking back, people will say the annexation was a good thing, he said.

North Colonie officials are just as pleased as Steele at the support for the annexation.

"I am very appreciative of the support that both school communities gave to this effort. We are very pleased that this referendum passed in both districts by more than 80 percent," said Randy Ehrenberg, North Colonie Central Schools superintendent.

Ehrenberg commented on the extensive work between both of the schools boards of education and the 26-member committee that put together the feasibility of the annexation.

Under the annexation, North Colonie will get $30 million in state incentive aid during the next 14 years. Also, North Colonie will see its state building aid jump from 48 percent to 68 percent. That funding will benefit both schools as the two are expected to meet in coming weeks to discuss capital projects at both schools.""

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