Board approves paving project to ease Strough parking woes

Published Sep 19, 2018 at 4:00pm

An approximately 70-space lot behind Strough Middle School will be paved to help address parking needs at the newly renovated 801 Laurel St. site.

A $268,500 paving contract was awarded to Central NY Construction of Barneveld by the Board of Education at a special meeting this morning.

Also at the meeting, the starting date for a new instructional elementary coach was adjusted by the board. In the actions:

• Central NY Construction was the lowest of eight bidders for the paving contract.

The work will be funded as part of a $25.4 million capital project that renovated Strough, said school district Superintendent Peter C. Blake; the building reopened Sept. 6 for the start of the new school year, after being closed the prior two years while students used other sites.

The paving had been part of the original project plans, but was delayed due to some uncertainties about whether enough funding would be available for it, explained Assistant Superintendent for Operations and Management Robert Mezza Jr. after the meeting; a bonding referendum for the overall project was approved by school district voters in December 2011.

After some recent funding reviews, the district determined there would be enough funding for the paving, Mezza noted.

​The approximately 180-by-240-foot parking lot is “much needed,” said Mezza. The school’s parking areas otherwise include a small lot on the side of the building by Lee Street, plus along an access road that runs behind the building. A school bus drop-off and pick-up area is in front of the building. The additional site to be paved had previously been paved several years ago, said board President Paul Fitzpatrick. Mezza said it is primarily dirt now. During the renovation, its layout was affected including being used for a construction trailer for project coordinators.

• The effective date for Jennifer Palinski Hummel as instructional elementary coach was changed to Oct. 17 this year through Oct. 16, 2021.

​She had been appointed by the board last week with an effective date of Oct.1 this year through Sept. 30, 2021 at a salary of $55,806. She succeeds Paula Gilroy, who moved to a special education teacher position at Rome Free Academy, according to the district personnel office.

Blake said the Camden school district, where Palinski Hummel previously had been employed, had asked if the Rome district could “hold off” her starting date because a replacement teacher in Camden could not start until mid-October. The Rome district agreed to the request so that it could help students, Blake added.