Updated 06/22/2012 06:16 PM
C-PP breaks ground on facilities project
The Corning Painted Post School District has been talking about improving its buildings for years. But now the new facilities plan is finally taking action. Our Lara Greenberg was at the project's groundbreaking ceremony Friday, where students and officials are looking forward to the district's future.
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CORNING, N.Y. -- It's a project more than 10 years in the making and now there are only two years left to go. Corning-Painted Post School officials broke ground on the district's $97 million facilities improvement plan Friday.
"Throughout the district, we've lost roughly 2,000 students from the early 80s, but the same number of buildings. So we were running classrooms that in some cases were a quarter full. So it's time to consolidate," said Superintendent Mike Ginalski.
In two years' time, all of this extra land will be an extension of Corning East High, the sole high school for the district. And Kent Phillips will be torn down for additional athletic fields.
West High will become the district's only middle school. Northside Blodgett and Corning Free Academy will close. But students are looking forward to the changes.
"Bringing people together that I've missed through middle school year or people that I bond with, the track team, since I'm really big on that," said 10th grader Frances Sariego.
"A lot of the schools are damaged and they're not in good shape. So we need new facilities. And it's just good to combine with our friends," said ninth grader Bridget Collins.
The executive high school principal is already working on the transition for students.
"We already have a group of teachers that meet together monthly and it has representatives from both high schools to try to identify differences in the cultures and procedures and curriculum and are already trying to bridge the gap," said executive high school principal Robin Sheehan.
And with all the time and money that's been put into this project, officials say there's no turning back now.
Construction is already underway and the buildings are expected to be complete and ready to open in September 2014.