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Architects to address possibilities for NNCS capital project

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NORFOLK - Representatives from the Norwood-Norfolk Central School District’s architectural firm will be meeting with board of education members during a work session today to talk about possibilities for a capital project.

“It’s an opportunity for our architects who have been here for the last month-and-a-half to talk to the board about what they first encountered, from existing plans to their observations from walk-throughs,” Superintendent James M. Cruikshank said.

“It will also give the board an opportunity to present some of their ideas and maybe ask specific questions,” he said. “We’re going to put all the cards out on the table and begin to look to prioritize our plan.”

District officials hired the architectural firm of William Taylor and Associates to look at their buildings and come up with recommendations for items that could be addressed in a capital project.

Some of that work could be behind the scenes, according to Mr. Cruikshank.

“We need to have some updating on our assessments with materials like asbestos. The last test and analysis is older and the test is no longer valid. We know that we have asbestos. If we do this work, it will result in (the updating of the assessment),” he said.

Mr. Cruikshank said, because of the age of some portions of their building, the district is also “running into some issues with code,” such as exits being a certain distance from the stairwell.

“We do have some code issues to deal with,” he said.

No decisions have yet been made on what to include in a capital project.

“We’re in that planning phase right now,” he said.

Areas where they would like to focus some of their attention include safety and energy efficiency, Mr. Cruikshank said.

“Our district has two different heating systems. One is quite antiquated. We’re looking at a heating system that’s 60 years old. That heating system only serves a portion of the district. It’s certainly not efficient. The other is not as efficient as it could be. Right there we’re going to be looking for savings in this project with our heating system,” he said.

In the area of safety, among the possible projects they’ll look at is the school’s parking lot. Mr. Cruikshank said that could involve a configuration of traffic patterns.

“They all converge right now. That was the first thing that I noticed when driving in,” he said.

As an aging building, some refurbishment could also be included in the capital project, the superintendent said.

“We haven’t had much in the lines of updating. We haven’t had one in a few years here,” he said.

At this point, Mr. Cruikshank said, they’ll be discussing all of their options.

“There’s going to be a lot of just putting everything out on the table. Hopefully we’ll better define the scope of this project. We’re trying to see what we can do with little to no impact on the tax rate, which is possible,” he said.

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