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Bureau Valley High School expansion grows in size, and price

December 22, 2017

MANLIUS – Voters haven’t even signed off on an addition to the Bureau Valley High School yet, and already it’s getting bigger and better.

And costlier.

Most of the 20 members of the Building Design Subcommittee – made up of parents, staff and students and school board members – have given a thumbs up to changes to the proposed addition.

The original 26,500-square-foot addition has been enlarged to 30,000 square feet, committee member John Gross said. The changes were based on input from the community as well as teachers who suggested larger classrooms and a bigger multipurpose room.

Teacher Rick Wilkin, who represents the Bureau Valley Education Association, told the school board Tuesday that the new design has met with almost universal support from his fellow educators.

“This building plan provides us the space to continue the programs we need so that we educate the whole child,” Wilkin aid.

The new design also “will essentially max out our budget at $12 million” – the amount of bonds the district is asking voters to approve in the March 20 primary, Gross said.

The board voted in November to place a bond referendum on the March ballot for what was then an $11.1 million project for building expansions and facility upgrades, including a $6.1 million classroom addition on the west side of Bureau Valley High School in Manlius to house all district junior high students and third- through fifth-graders from the south portion of the district.

A new $3.4 million gym addition on the high school’s east side also would be added, and other smaller projects in Wyanet and Walnut are planned.

Now that the district has a new plan in hand, the next step is getting the word out to voters. The board will hire a a consultant to help to organize the referendum campaign and research how to reach voters, at a cost not to exceed $7,500.

Also Tuesday, the board agreed to a contract through June 30, 2020 for Superintendent Eric Lawson, who has served in that capacity for the past year.

Lawson will be paid $125,000 through the end of this fiscal year, $130,000 for the second year, and $135,000 the third year.

An 11-year employee of the district, Lawson previously was interim superintendent, and prior to that was high school principal and assistant superintendent.

He started his Bureau Valley career as assistant principal and athletic director.