By SUSAN MENDE
CANTON - The first phase of Canton Central Schools $15 million capital project is slated to begin the first week of June with asbestos removal from basement crawl spaces.
School Superintendent William A. Gregory said the asbestos abatement work will occur between 3 and 11 p.m. when the regular school day is not in session.
All of the asbestos work is in the basement and should be completed by mid-summer, Mr. Gregory said. The project is moving along ahead of schedule at this point.
He said a long list of safety precautions will be followed including air monitoring by Atlantic Testing Laboratories, Canton.
The school board Thursday evening agreed to award the hazardous material abatement work to Fibertech Environmental Services Inc., Buffalo, which submitted the low bid of $408,850.
The district will be required to post announcements about the asbestos removal 10 days before the work begins. Those notifications will be affixed on all doors that allow entrance into the building complex.
Officials from SEI Design Group, a Rochester architect firm, told school board members the project is moving fast in terms of getting necessary approvals from the state Department of Education.
It is moving quickly and smoothly. I have never seen SED approval move at this breakneck speed, said Michael J. Ebertz, the firms senior principal.
Approved by voters in January, the capital project includes replacing the existing heating system, renovations to McKenney Middle School, installing a new all-weather outdoor track and upgrading athletic fields. Plans also involve installing a new security system, new exterior and interior lighting and repairing curbing and sidewalks.
Bids for the new heating system are expected by the end of this month.
In other action, the board accepted the retirement of Nancy Palmateer, Banford Elementary librarian, effective June 26; and the retirement of Myrle Ratowski, teaching assistant, effective June 30. A leave of absence for the 2012-13 school year was approved for Amber Ross, high school English teacher.