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Saratoga Springs School District resumes budget talks

He also asked for $6,000 in audio and video support.

One of the biggest expenditures for the next budget would be replacing 16 servers, L'Hommedieu said, but added that there will be a substantial decreases in the district's cell phone plan and telephone system maintenance because of new contract deals with suppliers.

Board member Regina Gapczynski said she was pleased with L'Hommedieu's presentation and excited about the new technology initiatives.

"The other departments must be jealous," Gapczynski said. 'You are taking students, teachers, and the district into the future with technology."

The school's athletic budget showed an increase over last year's, although there was no change in the current staffing levels for physical education teachers or coaches.

Peter Sheehan, the school's director of physical education and athletics, presented his proposed budget to the board for the school's 1,700 athletes. Last year's athletic budget came in at $339,346 and Sheehan said he would like to increase it this year to $343,587.

He also said that he was interested in creating a Nordic Ski Team, which would be a program "with no cuts," and would cost around $15,382.

Sheehan said that 12 sets of ski equipment to be kept by the school would be needed for the program.

"The early indications show that there is plenty of interest," Sheehan told the board, adding that the nearby state park and area behind the school would be ideal locations for practice and training.

Recently, Olympian John Farra, who is a Saratoga native, has been named as the new Nordic Director for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. As a former U.S. champion, he was a 1992 Olympic cross-country skier and member of the U.S. Ski Team from 1990-93, and was a 1991 NCAA All American at the University of Utah.

At the district there are over 700 fall athletes, with more than 200 involved in football and over 100 in soccer; over 495 winter athletes, with over 90 in wrestling and over 90 in track; and over 510 spring athletes, with 110-plus students in boy's lacrosse and over 75 students each in boy's and girl's track and field.

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