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Guilderland schools to get $27M upgrade

The Guilderland Central School District will begin routine and technology-related renovations of its five elementary schools and high school starting Wednesday, April 1, according to district officials.

The project will total just under $27 million, with funds coming from the state, the district's fund balance and Guilderland taxpayers, according to the district's Web site.

Important enhancements to hardware are needed to keep the district progressive in the 21st century, said one district official.

We saw that we had several important facilities needs that needed to be addressed, said Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders. "We will have new cabling in all of our buildings for new technology."

In November 2007, district voters approved the plan, and the primary enhancements will be new classrooms at the high school; the relocation of the district's administrative offices to the high school; heating, electrical, roofing, communication and ventilation upgrades at the elementary school; an updated technology infrastructure and security upgrades.Traffic patterns, ventilation, asbestos abatement and lighting will all be addressed.

Sanders said that during an update to the five-year capital plan, the district realized it needed to make enhancements.

"Coincidentally, EXCEL aid became available," said Sanders.

He said new computers are on top of the list of technological upgrades, as well as LCD projectors, work stations, smart boards and computer labs for the high school.

Sanders said some of the traditional production equipment will be kept, but the district plans to push toward computer and engineering-based hardware.

The district also plans to update the school's emergency response plan and will hold fire drills to familiarize students with any changes to the exits of the buildings during the construction period, according to the district's Web site. In addition, the construction area will be kept separate from the occupied areas, workers will have photo badges and noise will be kept to a minimum.

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