CLINTONVILLE - It's a project that involves three buildings with the goal of maintaining both the facilities and the education for students in the AuSable Valley Central School District.
The project, which is being funded through state aid and EXCELL funds, started this past summer and is anticipated to run through Sept. 1, 2012. It was approved by voters in 2007 and will not affect the school budget tax levy.
"This was funded by money that was kept by the state for schools that were in need of renovations and improvements but may not have had the money to fund them otherwise," AVCS superintendent Paul Savage said. "It's an exciting project that will take the school district into the next 30 years and beyond."
"Our state aid ratio is 98 percent with this project, and the other 2 percent is covered by the EXCELL portion of the funding," district business officer Scott Brow said.
Savage and Brow said that they were pleased that the voters approved the project in 2007 and that the community has been patient with the school as the work has commenced.
"We really want to thank the community for their patience along with the students and staff at the school," Savage said.
The project comes with a price tag of $29,850,000 and includes renovations and additions at all three district school buildings.
A common piece of all three buildings will be the addition of new wood chip boiler plants at each site.
"Looking at our projections, we will be able to save between $100,000 and $120,000 with the boiler in terms of our heating costs," Savage said. "That is a considerable amount of savings, and we wanted to make sure that anything we put into this project had the chance to provide the taxpayers in the district with a savings."
A variety of other renovations are also taking place at the three school sites in the district.
Savage said that the work at KES is the "least amount" of work in the entire scope of the project, but no less important when it comes to student safety and educational experiences.
"There is a two-classroom addition that is part of the project at Keeseville," Savage said. "We are also re-organizing the parking lot with a sperate bus entrance."
The school is adding a front entrance canopy, bleacher seating in the gymnasium and a remodeling of the kitchen area, along with the installation of a generator.
"The generator will be something that can support the school and the community as a emergency shelter if something like the ice storm were to happen again," Savage said.
Au Sable Forks Elementary
Work at AFES includes the addition of four classrooms, the addition of a stage and bleacher seating in the gymnasium and a re-routing of the parking and driveway area to help with student safety.
"The tightest space that we have in the district is there," Savage said. "We are also pleased that we will be adding a stage and appropriate seating for school activities and athletic events there."
AV Middle/High School
Four classrooms are being added on to the current building to help address spacing issues at the school, along with the addition of a secure entrance and the renovation of the ramp and sidewalk area.
The project also calls for improvements to the flooring, ceiling and roof.
"The renovation work is more extensive than the addition work," Brow said. "The big thing is that you are working with original parts of the building."
Work on the wood chip boiler plants is expected to be completed in the spring of this year, while the project is scheduled to be wrapped by the opening of the 2012-13 school year.
"The realistic goal is that we are done with the work by Sept. 1, 2012," Savage said.