Holley school working on final phase of capital project

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Work is underway on new tennis courts on the Holley Central School campus. The tennis courts are part of the final phase of a $30 million capital improvement project.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 26 April 2017 at 11:56 am

HOLLEY – Representatives from SEI Design Group updated members of the Holley School Board of Education on the final phase of the district’s more than $30 million capital improvement project during the board’s regular meeting Tuesday evening.

“The project as a whole is on track,” Becky Cokelet of SEI told board members and administrators. “We got more work done on break (the district’s spring break) and during off hours than we expected.”

The last phase of the project includes new tennis courts; renovation of a current tennis court to two basketball courts; replacement of heating, ventilating and air conditioning units at both the Elementary School and Middle School/High School; replacement of windows, doors and masonry work on the Elementary School; the construction of two new playgrounds at the Elementary School; and a reconfiguration of the Elementary School bus loop which will separate bus traffic from car traffic.

“A paved island will separate the bus loop and car traffic to provide more safety,” Cokelet said.

The reconfiguration will also allow for parents picking up children to progress to the school entrance rather than wait behind buses.

Additionally, Cokelet explained that instead of using an access road to construct a new playground on the southeast side of the Elementary School, crews will enter the worksite from the school sidewalk. The change means that neighbors will not be disturbed by construction vehicle traffic. Contractors will replace the school sidewalk once the project is completed, she said.

Cokelet confirmed for Superintendent Robert D’Angelo that construction work would be completed by the third week of August, allowing for school staff to come in during the final week before classes begin.

In his report, Superintendent D’Angelo discussed the new Excelsior Scholarship offered by New York State.

The scholarship will provide free tuition at all CUNY and SUNY colleges for middle class families and individuals.

D’Angelo said he serves on an advisory council at Genesee Community College and learned more about the Excelsior Scholarship during a recent meeting.

“I’m excited about it,” D’Angelo said.

He explained students receiving the scholarship must complete 30 credits in a given year (which can include credits earned in summer classes and Genesee Promise Plus classes), and students must stay in New York State following graduation for the same duration they were in school under the scholarship.  If they move out of state before that time, they must pay back tuition as in interest-free loan.

D’Angelo said it is important for parents to be kept informed about the scholarship by school administrators, particularly through emails.

“The more information we provide our parents, the better off students will be,” he said. “If we can help them along the way, we are ready to do that.”