Morgan Road students will move to Wetzel Road during renovation

— In a unanimous vote, the Liverpool Central School District Board of Education passed a motion Monday, Feb. 4, authorizing the superintendent to make all facility adjustments, transportation changes and necessary staff movement to accommodate the relocation of Morgan Road Elementary students and staff to Wetzel Road Elementary during the renovation for the 2013-14 school year.

Wetzel Road was closed in 2011. It served as the Liverpool High School FOCUS Academy from 2011-12.

Prior to passing the motion, the BOE discussed its concerns, focusing mainly on the costs associated with the various accommodations.

Superintendent Dr. Richard Johns said the only changes foreseeable at this time are the addition of a nurse to the staff, installing short-throw projectors, adding a wall in the library to divide it into two rooms and removing a restroom to allow for a second fire escape from some classrooms.

“The nurse is the most expensive piece of that,” he said, noting the salary would be about $70,000 plus benefits. “But the construction demo and construction is really a fairly insignificant number.”

Johns also said that while there’s no way to know for sure what the savings associated with the relocation will be, he believes they’ll amount to about $1.5 million.

Johns brought up further programmatic concerns that will need to be addressed, including how to orientate the students.

”I think as much as we weigh the dollars and cents, I think that anybody or any parent or anybody who has concerns for Morgan Road only has to go to [Liverpool Elementary] or [Liverpool Middle School] and talk to them about working through the construction and having four classrooms set up in the gymnasium and the kids going out for walks for gym,” board member Donald Cook said. “The disruption to the education was difficult, and I give kudos to the staff of both of those schools for bringing them through that process. But making this move avoids that in all way, shape or form.”

In other business:

The board also passed a motion to engage a firm for the superintendent search. Cook abstained, and all others voted in favor of using the Castallo and Silky firm. Dr. Lucy Martin and Dr. William D. Silky will be the two consultants.

“We took a look at the qualifications of four very knowledgeable and experienced firms,” BOE President Patricia DeBona-Rosier. “The board believes that the firm of [Castallo] and Silky will be best suited for our purposes.”

There were no comments, questions or concerns discussed before the vote.

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