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Frazier board to hold hearing on school projects

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By Rachel Basinger
Monday, May 20, 2013, 8:06 a.m.

The Frazier School Board will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Frazier High School auditorium to discuss renovation and construction projects at schools within the district.

Board President Tom Shetterly said the process of looking into building a school began in 1998, and at that time, the cost was approximately $8 million or $9 million.

In June 2012, the board agreed to commit to a $20 million bond issue for construction of a new elementary/middle school, which would house pre-kindergarten to eighth-grade students.

While district officials and board members had originally looked into renovating Perry Elementary School and adding to the middle school, they decided against it, since the Perry Elementary building is between 40 and 50 years old.

The plan: The middle school, which is attached to the high school, will be abandoned for student use; Perry Elementary will be demolished; Central Elementary School will be closed. The new building will be on the Perry Elementary site at the practice fields and will house all elementary and middle school students.

Dan Kiefer, with Massaro, the district's project manager, told directors in March that while it is a conservative number, the total cost of the project is estimated at $27 million.

Superintendent David Blozowich said the district is required by the state to hold the Act 34 hearing, in order to give the public a chance to get a full scope of the project, both architecturally and financially.

A stenographer will be at the hearing so that everything said will become part of the document the district must send to the state, Blozowich said.

The superintendent will talk about why the district needs a building for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, why Perry Elementary needs to be demolished, why Central Elementary should be closed and why the middle school must be emptied.

David Esposito and Mark Scheller, with Eckles Architecture, will talk about the alternatives before coming up with the final designs.

Business manager Kevin Mildren will be on hand to discuss the cost analysis and total budgetary impact of the proposed project.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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