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Fulton Schools Inch Closer To Vote On Second Construction Project

Fulton’s school district took the next step this week towards another building project. The Board of Education gave district officials an informal go-ahead to keep planning for a project that could go to a public vote before the end of the year.

The $3.75 million project would address issues in district buildings that had to be pulled out of the $26 million renovation project that’s underway now along with some new issues. It would address roof repairs to a couple of district buildings, replace old boilers at G. Ray Bodley High School, put high speed network access into district buildings that don’t have it now, improve electrical service at the junior high, and improve secusrity through cameras, lighting and better locks.

The project would have no effect on local taxes. 98% of the cost of the project would be repaid by the state. The remaining 2% would be covered under the state’s special EXCEL aid, which funds specific types of projects.

There’s some urgency to approving the project quickly. The state is planning to get rid of EXCEL aid soon, and the district can take advantage of the fact that construction crews are already working on some district buildings.

“I’d like to see us move ahead,” said board member Robbin Griffin. “It’s now or never.”

Board member Dan Pawlewicz said the board should consider passing a resolution promising that not one dollar of local taxpayer money will be spent on the project.

“It’s imperative that we’re honest with the community,” said board member Rosemary Occhino, “and say we need to take care of this now.”

The district’s tentative plans call for a vote in the fall so that the project could get state approval in time to be folded into the larger renovation work to be done in the summer of 2010.