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Massena Central schools ready for opening, operations director says

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MASSENA - The stage is set for the beginning of the new school year in the Massena Central School District.

And, in the case of the elementary schools, it means no more stages in the cafeteria.

Director of Operations William L. Seguin told board of education members at their recent meeting that the stages that were in place at Jefferson, Madison and Nightengale schools got little use, so they were taken out this summer as part of an expansion.

“We expanded the cafeteria in the three elementary schools. It gives the children a lot more room in the elementary schools. The kids weren’t eating on the stages. It was a hardship for the custodians to clean up,” he said.

Now, risers will be used in either the cafeteria or gymnasium for special events such as concerts.

That was one of a number of initiatives taken over the summer to prepare for the start of the new school year, according to Mr. Seguin.

He said drainage issues that had been an issue since the completion of a capital project that revamped the former high school traffic circle were also addressed this summer.

“The drainage issues were corrected and completed. We had Barrett Paving come back and in and put an additional storm drain in. We flooded the parking lot first to see where the issues were. We also corrected the area in front of the crosswalk. It was supposed to be graded down to drain and it wasn’t,” he said.

Board member Patrick Bronchetti asked if handicapped parking at the high school had been addressed to bring those spaces closer to the building.

“It meets the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act,” Mr. Seguin said.

But, he added, they had been allowing handicapped visitors to park near the main kitchen entrance and enter the building down a shorter hallway.

“We had them park out back and use the short hall to come in. It’s easier access to the building from the parking next to the main kitchen,” he said.

“It was a little better than it was, but it’s still not great,” board President John R. Boyce said.

A water line replacement project at the high school is also on track, according to the operations director. He said it’s 75 percent complete at this point.

“I see no reason why it won’t be completed by the end of September,” he said.

The summer has also meant cleaning the buildings in preparation for the return of students, as well as maintaining the outdoor fields for athletic events like soccer.

“The schools are all ready to go. They’re cleaned, the floors are waxed and the carpets are shampooed,” Mr. Seguin said.

Teachers will arrive for two days of professional development on Tuesday and students will return to school on Thursday.

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