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Watertown City School District to place bigger marquee in front of high school

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The Watertown City School District’s electronic marquee had been sitting unused for nearly two years before becoming a pile of rubble in the front of Watertown High School. It will be moved to North Elementary around October.

A new, hopefully more visible marquee will be placed in front of the high school before classes begin in September, according to district Superintendent Terry N. Fralick.

The original sign was unplugged after being finished in October 2010. On the Bernier,Carr and Associates blueprint, the sign appeared to be at a height that would be visible to passing drivers. However, when it was finally built, Mr. Fralick said, he realized that was not the case.

“Instead of an 8-foot sign, (the new sign) will be 10 feet and 6 feet closer to the sidewalk,” Mr. Fralick said.

It will be held 3 to 4 feet off the ground by brick pillars.

In late December, Mr. Fralick predicted a new sign would be in operation by the spring.

“That was our plan,” he said. “Unfortunately, it was back-ordered.”

The sign work will be part of the fifth phase of the district’s $16 million capital construction project, meaning it will not be an additional burden to city taxpayers.

In mid-July, Cunningham Excavation, Cazenovia, was awarded an $812,900 contract to switch the signs, add a new sidewalk to Starbuck Elementary and create new parking spaces at several schools.

Other small maintenance work will be included, such as taking out shrubbery at Case Middle School that has turned into an “eyesore,” according to Mr. Fralick.

“It’s nothing too exciting, but, in the long run, it will enhance the outside,” he said.

New parking at H.T. Wiley Intermediate hopefully will be done before the snow flies, but two other schools will have more spots much sooner.

“Our goal is to have Starbuck and North done in a few days, maybe a week,” Mr. Fralick said.

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