CRCS Exciting New Capital Project

Justice Herrick, Staff Writer

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Cuba-Rushford Central School District is hoping to renovate their three schools. Cuba Rushford Elementary, Cuba Rushford Middle-High, and Elm Street Academy are all possibly getting renovated. Construction would start approximately in the summer of 2018. The school is having this project so they can address safety vulnerabilities and to renovate and restore school property. This project will come to no cost to the community as the New York State Education Department will fund 90 percent of the costs. The rest, which is an approximate 1.5 million, will come from the capital project reserve fund. The public will get a chance to see the planned add ons before construction starts. Saturday, December 3rd at 1 PM, was the facilities tour. It took place at the Elementary foyer. Next up will be the public hearing and that takes place on Tuesday, December 13 at 6 PM. This event will take place in the MS/HS auditorium. Finally, will be the public vote to determine if this project continues or stops. This event will be on Thursday, December 15th from 12PM to 8PM. This vote will take place at the Elementary school and Rushford Town Hall. Come on down and vote on this day. With this project, there will be many changes to these schools for the better.

There are many changes that will be made to the school if construction starts in the summer of 2018. First, we’ll look at the changes being made to Elm Street Academy. In this building, the cafeteria tables will be replaced with new ones and whiteboard surfaces will be installed. Safety and security window film will be installed and keyless door hardware will be installed. Finally, power, data, and technology upgrades will be in store for this school.

Cuba Rushford Middle High School will have many changes and updates. They will be adding many rooms to this school. STEAM learning classrooms and more special education instruction areas will be installed. STEAM is a program that stresses the need for more mathematical, scientific, engineering, and technological jobs in our country. They try to get more kids interested in these careers. The current special learning classrooms do not meet the SED room size requirement, so this will be a needed improvement. The weight room will have many improvements. They are replacing the equipment and are going to make the entrances more secure. The locker rooms will be revamped with separate locker rooms for the P.E. classes and for the kids participating in school sports. There will be many security upgrades. There will be keyless door hardware, a new secure entrance vestibules for incoming students, staff, and visitors. Security camera upgrades and a new security window film. Finally, there will be heating and ventilation improvements and upgraded stage lighting. This will be changed to new LED lights. Outside of the school will be sidewalk repairs, athletic field improvements, and a brand new exterior canopy to shelter parents and students.

Finally, the Elementary school might get upgrades to their facilities. The auditorium is getting changes. The carpet will be replaced, the band pit will be filled, and the stage lighting will be changed to LED’s. The school will also be getting upgraded heating and cooling plus improved air quality and becoming more energy efficient. Security at the school will be expanded. The entrance vestibules will be changed just like the Middle/High Schools will be. They will be adding a new secure door at the gymnasium entrance and adding keyless doors and secure window film. The biggest changes though will be in the gymnasium. They are adding a new walking track in the gym. This will be above the floor and will allow gym classes to carry on like normal but with new options for education. The bleachers will be replaced and the gym divider curtain will be replaced. Exterior changes are sidewalk repairs and exterior canopies just like the Middle High School. That is all the changes. Next, you’ll hear people’s opinions on the capital project.

People have many opinions on this new project. Mr. Carlos Gildemeister, the superintendent, recently did an interview with the Olean Times Herald. In this interview, he stated his opinions on the capital project. He said that “we have to create opportunities that give our students more opportunities.” He was referring to the planned additions of the STEAM Learning rooms into the school. There are 1.7 STEAM jobs for the unemployed compared to the 3.6 unemployed people per every other job. He also said that STEAM jobs don’t require moving to a big city. “You can do them at home in Allegheny Co. You can be in your basement.” He feels this is a major benefit to the community. He then talked about the special education improvements involved in this project, “These students, we pay the most money for (their education), and they get the least instruction time.” He is referring to the students traveling to other school districts or BOCES. These students ride the bus here and it usually takes them one hour and 15 minutes just to get here. There will be improvements for this issue. He also says that the security  upgrades, mentioned above, will help “eliminate the human factor.” I interviewed my Journalism teacher, Mrs. Durland, and asked for her opinions on this project. She does know about the project and is in favor of it. She is in favor of schools upgrading because the needs for a good learning environment change with the world. She is all for the capital project. She says that she will be able to use the restrooms more often if need be. Before, the bathroom was all the way down the hall and she is one of the last classrooms at the other end of the hall. The walking track will affect her because cardio is easier on it than using a treadmill. This project will create a safer learning environment for her students. She likes that there will be a bathroom closer to her room. I also asked Ms. Lafever, a special education teacher at the school, her opinion on the capital project. She does know about the project and is excited for it. She says bigger classrooms, a storage room, and a bigger work area will be available to the students after the project is complete. These new rooms that the Special Education department will be getting help because 1 on 1 time will be easier. Right now, it is hard to work 1 on 1 with a student. The classroom will have less clutter and it will be less distracting she says. She likes that there will be more space for the classrooms, the new walking track inside, the new entrance to the weight room, the shelter spaces for students outside, and the added security.

There are many advantages to doing this capital project. The schools get renovated and there will be approximately no cost to the community. If you feel that this is a good capital project, go vote on December 15th. This project has the potential to make school better for everyone.

Citations

Clark,Bob. “Cuba – Rushford Board Moves for $14M Project Vote in December.” Olean Times Herald, 26, Oct. 2016, http://www.oleantimesherald.com/news/cuba-rushford-board-moves-for-m-project-vote-in-december/article_dd4b58b2-9b3e-11e6-b690-2b268f7e1711.html.

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