RFA pool projects near completion with panel painting

Board of Education OKs sales contract for former school

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At the most recent regular meeting of the Rome City School District’s Board of Education, members approved a change order for the purchase of specialized paint for panels in the RFA pool area, the hiring of both instructional and non-instructional personnel, and a new sales contract for the purchase of the Fort Stanwix Elementary School property.

Among the items up for discussion and a vote by the board was a resolution of approval to accept “change orders” to the 2019 Capital Improvement project in order to add “pool painting” at a cost of $29,800.

Superintendent Peter C. Blake explained that panels in the pool area at Rome Free Academy, located “way up high” near the building’s roof — which had been undergoing work since the summer to repair a faulty membrane — had worn and faded over the years. 

The district decided that, rather than incur the cost of replacing the panels, they would paint them. 

“It was discovered that a special type of paint is required,” said Blake, “so the change order is to get the proper paint to get that done.”

Blake offered that the project needed to be fast-tracked because there is scaffolding present in the pool area that costs $2,500 per week to keep up. “I apologize for moving quickly,” said Blake, “but we just found out last week and did not want to incur scaffolding rental and delay pool opening.”

Once up for a vote, all members approved the expense.

In addition, Board President and Finance Committee Chair John Nash moved a resolution to transfer $5,000 to the district’s Capital Reserve Plan. Board member Joe Mellace queried Blake as to the current balance of the reserve, to which Blake replied, “zero.”

That motion was also carried unanimously.

Nash shared that the committee had received requests for proposals for “a couple of internal and external audits” and Blake confirmed those should be done in the spring. He also confirmed that a draft RFP for the district’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work — where the board did not have the votes sufficient to retain the prior consultant, Access Global Group, in December – was in progress.

The issue of an RFP for school furniture sparked discussion among members. Board Vice President Tanya Davis confirmed that the RFP was to engage a person who would assess the district’s needs and look at available sources for each grouping.

Blake offered that a survey of the district’s teachers was in progress, with a priority being placed on flexibility, allowing them to transition furniture to support different approaches to lessons and teaching.

“It is important for all nine of us to know when its time to make that decision,” said Davis of the selection of a contractor. “It’s important for public to know. Not every one fits in the rows that we were used to when we went to school.”

People Operations

People Operations Chair, Member Joe Mellace, advanced seven action items, including the appointment of retired district special education teacher Lisa DiMaggio as a long-term substitute special education teacher at Gansevoort and Bellemy schools (at a pro-rated salary of $62,254); Julia Panzone as an occupational therapist at Joy and Denti schools (at a pro-rated salary of $56,910); and Jessica Terry as a teacher’s assistant at Joy Elementary School (at a pro-rated salary of $17,604).  

The action items also including the appointment of non-instructional personnel, an after-school program tutor, the approval of staff transfers and the appointment of Cristin Checchia as Interim Director of Supported Learning. No salary amount for Checchia was included with the resolution.

All motions carried without dissent.

Fort Stanwix School

The board approved a new sales contract for the Fort Stanwix Elementary School property, located at 110-112 West Linden Street in Rome, for the same purchase price as the prior contract – which has since expired – of $525,000.

The new buyer, Bowers Development, LLC, seeks to convert the turn-of-the-20th century schoolhouse into market rate apartment housing, where the previous potential buyer sought to develop affordable senior housing.

The Board approved the new sales contract.

Next regular meeting 

The next regular meeting of the Rome Board of Education is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 27,  at the district offices on 409 Bell Road.

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