By DAVE GYMBURCH Staff writer

Construction contracts for about $122,000 at the Rome school district pre-K/central office site were approved Wednesday night by the Board of Education, along with student-athlete individual and team commendations plus recognizing employees of the month.

¿ Contract awards at the 409 Bell Road site that formerly was Clough School included $78,840 for general construction, to Richard E. Alexander Co. of Marcy, and $43,766 for a storage rack system, to Beebe Construction Services of Utica.

The larger contract involves bathroom renovations in the pre-K section of the building. The other contract is for storage room shelving in the central-office portion including district record-keeping, said Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds Paul Rabbia.

Funding for the work is part of a previously approved project package at the site that also has included window areas, roofing upgrades, a front loop for vehicles, and a new baseball field, said Rabbia. The completed field, to include use by ages 13-15 involving the school district and Rome youth baseball organizations, will not be available yet in order to allow "another growing season" for its grass, Rabbia told the board.

¿ Student-athlete commendations included Rome Free Academy students Antonio DeLuco, who won the Section III Division I wrestling championship in the 126-pound category, and Philip "Sonny" Caruso, who won the Section III Class AA shot put championship for indoor track.

In addition, members of five RFA varsity teams from the winter season were recognized for scholar/athlete awards based on marking period averages of 90 or above. Teams and their averages included hockey, 94,751; boys’ indoor track, 92.941; girls’ indoor track, 96.391; boys’ swimming and diving, 90.196; and girls’ basketball, 96.445.

¿ Recognized as employees of the month were RFA English teacher Christine Scharf and Joy Elementary School custodian Daniel Gorski.

Scharf, who has been with the district since 1973, was praised by Superintendent Jeffrey P. Simons, RFA Principal Mark Benson, and board members for her long-term teaching quality and enthusiasm. Gorski, who joined the district in 2005, was saluted by Rabbia, Simons, Joy Principal Andria Lacey and the board for the pride and enjoyment shown in his work.