On Wednesday, September 18, our district's capital improvement project team will be presenting an update on possible capital project ideas for this year in Rome Free Academy's small auditorium. While many of the things that will be presented/discussed, there are some adjustments from the presentation that was held for the Board of Education in August. Most notably, since that time, the State Education Department (SED) Office of Facilities Planning has once again shifted course on the district. After directing us last year that they would no longer aid repairs for our current stadium facility, they have changed course and informed us that they will continue to aid this facility, meaning there is no need to move it from a financial perspective. With this news, the team has edited this item of the project to maintain the stadium, track, and field at the current sight. This adjustment alone will save our community a tremendous amount of money and we are hopeful that SED will continue to have this opinion of aiding our projects well into the future. A second major difference to be presented this week is a new proposal to add 4 classrooms, enlarge the gymnasium, library, and cafeteria at both Ridge Mills and Stokes schools. The project was already in the planning phases to be brought forward in a few years, however after discussions with the Board of Education, it became obvious that we should at least investigate the cost and possibility of this project moving forward now. The remaining concepts that will be presented are similar to the previous presentation: addition of space at Clough school to replace the current Staley, improvement to all elementary school entrances to make them more secure, general building condition survey items at RFA, and athletic complex improvements at the current RFA sight. At this point, the district still has not received potential aid figures from SED, which will make most of the discussion this coming Wednesday somewhat superficial if we don't have the ability to provide concrete financial figures. However, it's still important to discuss what could be done and what the worst case scenario financial impact could be. During the presentation, the goal is not for anyone to make decisions, but simply to hear what needs to be done district wide and begin to prioritize what can be done in the immediate future. The process is truly one of presenting a menu of options, and determining which ones need to be done, can be done, and/or should be done. We also anticipate that the referendum vote will also be conducted in a similar format. Finally, one of the largest differences between this project proposal and projects of the past is that our new team is attempting to start the cycle where each project provides something of improvement to every building in the district for maintenance purposes. Instead of waiting 20 years to do maintenance and then needing to renovate an entire building, we are trying to get into a cycle where general maintenance is done on every building on a more frequent schedule, ultimately over time consuming less resources for the district to keep state of the art resources.
Did you know, that more than 500,000 children nationwide are living without their birthparents? Foster parenting is a growing need in our country and if you are interested in learning more, there is an opportunity to do so locally. The Rome Family YMCA, in conjunction with Fostering Futures, will be hosting an information session on becoming a foster parent on Tuesday, October 1, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. More information is also available by visiting www.nnychildrenshome.com
Bellamy Elementary, and now Gansevoort Elementary, both have a community marketplace for families to receive goods that they may be in need of. Both marketplaces contain food, clothing, and other household items that may be needed. Each marketplace is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m., and are available to any family in the community. In order to enter the building, please make sure you have photo identification, and someone will assist you with accessing the marketplace.