District considers upgrades

JOHNSTOWN – The Greater Johnstown School District is on track to possibly schedule a public referendum in November in which district voters would consider approving a capital project.

“That’s still a realistic goal,” Superintendent Robert DeLilli told the Board of Education Thursday.

The city school district is trying to design a possible districtwide facility capital improvement project. The district is looking at extensive roof work at city schools, among other work.

DeLilli noted the district’s architectural firm – CS Arch of Albany – has been making the rounds at several buildings lately to assess what may be needed as part of this capital project. The district doesn’t have a specific list of project items yet; they will be figured out as the district works with the firm.

The “tour” was to conclude this week at Jansen Avenue Elementary School, DeLilli said.

He said each principal spent time with the architects “picking their brains.” DeLilli said each building’s needs may be different. He said CS Arch is due to come out with a report in June.

The district does not yet know how much the project will cost, but it is expected to be in the millions of dollars. About 15 percent to 20 percent of the cost of the capital project would be for an architect and engineer, as well as a fiscal adviser.

Capital projects could be 90 percent to 95 percent funded by state aid. The capital projects must be approved by the state Education Department.

The district’s last major capital project took place in the mid- to late 2000s. That project included building a new auditorium at Johnstown High School and adding synthetic turf at Knox Field.

In other reports before the board:

DeLilli said a recent district Family Fun Night was “very well attended.”

Glebe Street Elementary School first-grade teacher Nancy Lisicki thanked the board for increasing the number of elementary supplies. She said this will help with grade-level grouping scheduled to start in the fall.

Warren Street Elementary School Principal Scott Ziomek reported on the recent Learning Arts Program in all three elementary schools. He said the program, which brings in artists and performers from “around the nation,” is largely funded by an anonymous donor.

“It is top-notch musical performances,” Ziomek said. “They are amazing with the children.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.