Kendall school sees progress on many fronts

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 5 August 2016 at 1:58 pm
Kendall school under construction

Photo by Kristina Gabalski – Work continues this summer on the Kendall Jr./Sr. High School as part of Phase Two of the Kendall Central School Capital Project.

KENDALL – Members of the Kendall Board of Education held their regular meeting Wednesday evening in the Jr./Sr. High School cafeteria. The board normally meets in the school’s library but work is well underway on Phase Two of the district’s capital project which includes renovations to the science wing and the main office.

Kendall Superintendent Julie Christensen reported that work is slightly behind as there has been a delay in the delivery of new cabinetry for the science wing, but the district continues to plan an open house celebration for Sept. 1 when residents can come and see the completed Phase Two work.

The district held a similar open house last year at the close of Phase 1, and like last year, this year’s celebration will include the Sports Boosters’ Chicken BBQ, root beer floats from the PTSA and music provided by student ensembles.

Those attending Wednesday’s meeting were also given updates on several issues facing the district.

Christensen reported on a meeting held July 25 about the closing of the First Niagara Bank in Holley. Officials from the Kendall and Holley school districts, towns of Clarendon, Kendall and Murray, and Holley village attended the session.

“We are encouraging KeyBank to reconsider,” Christensen said.  If the branch closes as slated in October, the school districts and municipalities as well as residents who use the branch will have to travel 6 miles farther east to Brockport for banking. Christensen said officials have contacted state legislators regarding the planned closing.

Kendall BOE President Nadine Hanlon reported on the July 18 workshop held by school board members, administrators and other officials from both the Holley and Kendall school districts.

“We had great conversations,” Hanlon said. “We discussed all kinds of sharing of services. We are moving ahead…. I was pleased with the meeting and we will meet again.”

Christensen said the districts discussed sharing services in three areas:  instructional enrichment, such as summer programs;  non-instructional, such as transportation and sharing supplies; and extracurricular, such as 4-H programming and marching band.

One member of the audience asked Christensen if wrestling had been discussed. The district superintendent said it had been. She noted that the sport is declining in student participation and Kendall currently has few wrestlers. She explained that discussions over combined sports teams (the districts fielded a combined baseball team this past spring) are a challenge because the starting of  a combined sport that may take away from another well-established sport.

“It’s challenge to balance,” Christensen said.

She said many opportunities exist for “behind the scenes” sharing between the districts, particularly by increasing purchasing power for supplies.

Hanlon also reported on the effort to reduce the speed limit on Rt. 18/Roosevelt Highway in front of the Jr./Sr. High School, which currently is 50 miles per hour. Christensen was able to research the effort in 1998 to reduce the limit from 55 to 50 miles per hour and Hanlon said the district has now sent a letter to Kendall Highway Superintendent Warren Kruger.

In order for a study to be done by the State Department of Transportation, the request must go through Kruger, Hanlon explained.  Letters in support of the change from Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower and the Kendall Fire Chief have also been presented to Superintendent Kruger, Hanlon said.

She added that she requested the Orleans County Department of Transportation to paint crosswalks in front of the Elementary School on Rt. 237, as the road there is being re-paved.

Board members entered executive session at the end of the meeting to interview three candidates for the school board seat recently vacated by board vice-president Chris Gerken. Christensen said the board will make its choice at the next regular board meeting scheduled for Aug. 24.