PHOENIX — Changes are evident in the Phoenix Central School District as capital project work draws to a close. The renovations — part of a $38.2 million capital project approved by district voters in 2017 — include updated classrooms, a new athletic complex, a new auditorium and 21st century learning environments.

According to Karl Seckner, the district’s Assistant Superintendent of Finance & Educational Services, the project addressed priority items, many of which were identified through a building condition assessment, and did so in a fiscally responsible way.

“The district utilized funds from its capital reserve — which was previously established by voters — along with regular building aid and future retirement of debt,” Seckner said. “Therefore, there was no additional cost to the taxpayer.”

The cost-effective project broke ground in February 2019, with most of the work happening at John C. Birdlebough High School, where some of the classrooms had not received significant improvements since 1955. The renovations at the high school included classroom upgrades to improve lighting and wiring; overhauling the auditorium; building a 2,000 square-foot addition to relocate the band and chorus rooms; upgrading technology; replacing windows and the roof; building a new wrestling room and athletic storage area; and creating a synthetic turf stadium, complete with new lighting.

“While most of the work took place at JCB, the scope of the work also included various projects at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School and Michael A. Maroun Elementary School,” Seckner said. “Contractors installed new roofs at those buildings. They also replaced classroom flooring at MAM and installed new windows and digital signage at EJD.”

The project is targeted for completion in December, as contractors will spend the next few months finishing up some JCB classrooms as well as the EJD art room and family/consumer arts room.

As the initial project wraps up, the district is also finishing up work on a smaller capital project that was approved by voters in 2019. That work included improved parent drop-off and pick-up systems at all three schools, a new playground at MAM, a renovated elevator at JCB and classroom floor replacement.

“We are absolutely thrilled by the progress and these state-of-the art classrooms and facilities that we are able to provide our students,” said Superintendent Christopher Byrne. “I would personally like to thank the entire Phoenix CSD community for their support of this project!”

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