By Ely Schosek
The Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education received an update on the ongoing capital project during its most recent meeting with new information from the Superintendent Kimberly Moritz’s report.
On Oct. 8, which happens to be the board’s next meeting date, members are asked to come early to tour some of the capital project work. October’s date will feature work at Springville Elementary, Middle and High schools starting at 5 p.m. After the tour, the board will meet to discuss regular meeting business at the high school.
On Nov. 12th, the board will begin at 6 p.m. at Colden Elementary with a tour followed by the regular meeting.
The series of tours will conclude with a tour of what could be largest part of the capital project. The renovations to the old district offices which transformed the building into the new center for P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools).
The program exists in nearly 20 countries world-wide and Springville is lucky enough to be a part of it. The program is open to other students in WNY and not just Springville students. This tour will take place on Dec. 10 and the night will also include a full presentation on P-TECH. The time is yet to be announced.
The public is welcome to attend as many or as few of these tours as they would like.
Lately, there has been some discussion among physical education and health teachers at Springville Elementary and the middle schools in regard to another project. They would like to look into creating a Bike/Walk Trail around the entire perimeter of the elementary and middle school and the transportation building. As Moritz stated, “nothing’s simple.” The project would have to be SED approved along with being voter-approved.
There has also been talk about making an amendment to the current project if there is enough money left over. This would mean pulling back on all the “extra wish list items,” Moritz put it. The trail would be 5 feet wide and 0.9 miles long paved in blacktop. The middle school students already use the path for running during gym classes, and it is possible that rollerblades could be borrowed through BOCES for the students.
DURING THE public expression portion of the meeting, a Colden resident with two children in the district addressed the board concerning her children’s ability to stay in the schools as they do not have their vaccinations.
Prior to this year, the parent’s kids had a religious exemption from birth allowing them to continue school, which was taken away with a recent state law.
“I stand here before you because I want to let you know that my children do not pose a health risk to any child in the district, they never have. There is not an outbreak,” the parent said. “I should not be forced into breaking my religious beliefs in order to be able to stay in school and receive the public right to education.”
Following the public expression segment of the meeting, the board introduced their newest member: student representative Hannah Milbrand.
Recently, Superintendent Moritz has been touching on the enrollment trend at Colden Elementary, which is down to 135 kids total for the whole school. In previous years, the decline was not predicted to happen this steeply. Moritz would like to hear concerns, answer questions and dispel rumors. She will make no sudden decision to close the school and wants parents to be aware of that. There are many possibilities concerning the future of CES, including but not limited to, keeping it as is, reconfiguring and closing. Moritz added that she has no preconceived notions about the future of the school.
The only administrative report for the night was given by Springville Elementary Principal Chris Scarpine. His report included information on the progress of the capital project work at SES. The back playground has been resurfaced and added on to. The gymnasium was redone and one of the teachers noted that it “went from teaching in a cave to teaching in a real gymnasium.”
A lot of people know that at SES the gymnasium and the cafeteria are directly next to each other and volume control has been an ongoing issue. Recent changes to the space have made a tremendous difference when it comes to volume. One board member noted that she no longer leaves the space with a migraine due to the noise.
The board’s next meeting will take place on Oct. 8, starting at 5 p.m. at Springville Middle School.