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Chappaqua Schools Fixed Up For Returning Students

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Shiny floors, green fields and clean classrooms will be ready to greet returning Chappaqua students next month as the district continues fixing up its six schools.

“I was at [Robert E. Bell Middle School], and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the floors as shiny as what I’m seeing,” said Schools Superintendent Lyn McKay. “So there’s a lot of very good work going on at every single school.”

Other than the usual refurbishing, Assistant Superintendent John Chow said, the district’s facilities department has been installing Smart boards and new computers, and replacing carpet with tile in classrooms.

Bigger jobs include repaving the front parking lot at Westorchard Elementary School, installing boilers at the district’s three elementary schools and moving the boys locker room in Bell to a new location next to the gym.

“That’s a major job,” Chow said. “It’s better supervision, because right now we have all the boys going down to the lower level after gym class.”

Much of the work will be coming out of the district's energy performance contract , said Director of Facilities Joe Gramando. Gramando said contracts are awarded to districts by the state help save energy, and costs on oil and fuel.

“An energy performance contract is a contract where you have to use the energy savings to fund the construction,” Chow said.

The contract was divided into two phases, and the district was approved for nearly $12 million. Gramando said much of the work from the first $6.3 million phase has been completed, and the district was approved to borrow an additional $5.6 million in July. Chow said $11.3 million is the total energy savings the district has to generate over the next 18 years to pay for the project.

“This is really a great thing,” Chow said. “For 18 years we’re getting $12 million worth of renovations, new equipment, and also we’re saving $11.3 million worth of energy.”

Chow expects the second phase of construction to be complete by December 2013.

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