C-R makes EXCEL, stimulus plans


By Jim Poole

Cobleskill-Richmondville officials laid groundwork last week to spend two sources of funds.
C-R has about $300,000 left over from its last EXCEL project and a little more than $1 million in stimulus money, both to spend in the coming school year.
The EXCEL project improved the district’s security system. The money remaining is from the contingent portion of the project budget that would be used for cost overruns.
Those overruns didn’t occur, so C-R may use the money, although the state prohibits using it to reduce taxes, Superintendent Lynn Macan said.
“I don’t want to send it back,” she said. “We want to invest it.”
Outlining proposals to the school board last week, Ms. Macan listed folding chairs, furniture, outfitting a training room and meeting space for the driving staff, computer server replacement, fencing the athletic fields, refurbishing the pole vault pit, camera systems, cafeteria furniture and possibly a new wrestling mat.
Those items, she added, would have long-term use for the district and wouldn’t need to be replaced soon.
“We want to keep up to date as we move forward,” Ms. Macan said.
Like the leftover EXCEL money, C-R can’t use the stimulus money to reduce taxes, either.
Ms. Macan told the school board that $100,000 of the stimulus money will go to return the summer school to its earlier class level.
Other items the stimulus money will go towards include raising a half-year elementary physical education position to full year, paving parking lots and hiring for the learning center.
Also, C-R will buy Smartboards, musical instruments and materials and supplies.
The district will also set aside stimulus money so that students can travel to participate in competitions such as Odyssey of the Mind and others.
“We know the money will go away some day, so we want to use it while we can,” Ms. Macan said.