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Hammond school improvements delayed until spring

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HAMMOND — Hammond Central School is hoping to break ground on its $1 million capital project this spring.

Although it was approved by district residents in March and construction was expected to begin in the fall, delays in securing funding have put the project on hold.

“My understanding is that it takes at least five months for [the state Education Department] to approve or not approve the projects,” interim Superintendent Randy C. Richards said. “According to our architect, Bernier and Carr, the district should have a response by May.”

Once project bids are approved, work will begin, Mr. Richards said.

“At its earliest, work could begin in June but would most likely be done this summer,” Mr. Richards said.

The $1,403,162 improvement project is geared toward cutting energy costs, increasing efficiency and beefing up security. It will include repairs to the main entrance, updated security, installation of solar panels, a new parking lot in front of the school and repairs to the school’s windmill, which has a damaged blade.

The bulk of the improvements will focus on a new 150-kilowatt solar-electric installation project to offset energy costs. The school plans to reduce its energy costs by 6 percent with the solar-electric power source.

The district has estimated the school’s energy bills rose by about $2,000 last year with its windmill out of commission.

The school also plans to cut energy costs with the purchase of a new outdoor freezer for its food storage.

In an effort to increase security, the school board plans make the school accessible only through the front door. New locks and a buzzer will be installed at the front door.

The project will be funded by grants through agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The school will fund a portion of the project, not to exceed $1 million.

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