GOWANDA – Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb is supporting a proposed $30.5 million in safety upgrades as part of Gowanda Central School’s two-part capital improvements project, which is up for public vote Thursday.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the project, if successful, would have zero impact on the tax levy for residents of the Gowanda school district.
State Assemblyman Joseph Giglio (R-Gowanda, 148th District) and Allegany-Cattaraugus Superintendent Rep. Kaine Kelly are also pledging support.
The three officials met Monday morning with Lt. Brandon Walters, Gowanda CSD’s Director of Facilities Richard Smith and Deputy Ben Shields, the school’s resource officer, regarding the proposed upgrades to the elementary, middle and high school entrances.
Proposition one of the two-part plan involves new, reconfigured entrances district wide. Entrances to the elementary and high schools would be relocated so they have a forward-looking view of the approach to schools.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Anderson told WNYNewsNow Tuesday morning that the entrances are dated and need major upgrades.
“They were designed for a time that don’t really reflect our modern security concerns,” Anderson said. “At this point, (visitors) don’t have to actually be greeted by office staff or administrators.
Climate control expansion throughout all three schools is also a part of Proposition One. The expansion would eliminaote the need to open windows, even on days with higher temperatures.
Proposition One, which focuses on safety, welfare and health, technology, energy efficiency and site improvements, would cost $29,174,459.
Proposition Two would focus on synthetic turf for the boys’ baseball field and the girls’ softball field and is contingent upon the successful passage of Proposition One. The cost would be $1,334,058.
District residents can vote in the Middle School Library from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m Thursday.
Multimedia Journalist Justin Gould contributed to this report.