Michael R. Cornell

Mr. Michael R. Cornell
Superintendent of Schools
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Redesign of school physical spaces

supports students’ modern learning

This is a very exciting time to be a part of the Hamburg Central School District. We are grateful for the efforts of our skilled and dedicated instructional staff as they continue to update our curriculum and modernize the methods of instruction and assessment that they use to educate our modern thinkers who create, care, solve and discover. Importantly, we will continue to rapidly redesign our physical spaces according to the needs of our modern learners.

In 2016, the taxpayers of this community voted 81% to 19% in favor of a $9.87 million capital project referendum . . . As a result of that vote, we were able to:

  • Replace the roof at Charlotte Avenue School

  • Completely reconfigure and renovate the Library Media Centers at the High School and the Middle School, including all new bookcases, tables and seating

  • Create an entirely new Family and Consumer Science Suite at the Middle School with eight full kitchens, classroom space, sewing room and furniture

  • Install all new hallway ceiling tiles and replace all of the existing fluorescent interior lighting with new LED lighting

  • Replace the entire perimeter fence at Howe Field with a new fence

  • Move the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Office and the School Store from the second floor of the High School to a more central location across from the Main Office

  • Repaint both gymnasiums at Union Pleasant Elementary School

  • Make significant upgrades to lighting and sound at all six auditoriums, including new stage curtains for each

  • We have also used one-time grant funds from Assemblyman Sean Ryan, State Sen. Chris Jacobs and State Sen. Pat Gallivan to:

  • Renovate the Cafeterias and Library Media Centers at Charlotte Avenue School and Boston Valley School

  • Create the Axis Room at Union Pleasant Elementary School, where staff of the Hamburg Central Schools come together to learn and collaborate

  • Create a Maker Space at the Middle School

  • Create the Tinker Tank, which is an elementary Maker Space at Boston Valley School

  • Upgrade all four elementary school playgrounds with new Inclusive Play pieces so that students of all physical and developmental abilities can play together

We also replaced 17,000 interior and exterior lights with energy efficient LED lights and renovated all staff rooms in each of our six schools across the district.

All of this work was completed on time and well within the anticipated budget. We have also emphasized innovative modern designs and furniture choices, and assured that we executed with the highest quality workmanship and materials. While we are proud of the volume and quality of the work we’ve done over the past couple of years, much remains to be done to provide our students with the physical spaces that will support modern learning in schools so that our students are equipped to thrive in a world that is increasingly dominated by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. With that in mind, our long-term Facilities Plan anticipates Capital Project votes in 2020, 2023 and 2026 so that we can continue the work of modernizing the Hamburg Schools.

Last year we empaneled a large Capital Project Committee comprising school staff and community leaders, and established a timeline for the planning and vote for the 2020 Capital Project. According to that timeline, we have engaged our architect, Gordon Jones, and our construction management firm, Turner Construction, to work with the staff in each of our six schools to determine how to further redesign our physical spaces to best accommodate the modern learning experiences that our students require. We have also established a separate committee to assess our athletic facilities, to determine the extent to which they need to be included in the 2020 Capital Project. Lastly, we are finalizing our state-mandated Building Condition Survey. 

Over the next several months, we will blend together the priorities of the staff and the necessities identified in the Building Condition Survey. In the Spring, we will bring an array of possibilities to our Capital Project Committee for their feedback, and in the Summer I anticipate being ready to make a recommendation to the Board of Education regarding the scope of the 2020 Capital project. We expect to be ready to have all of you vote on this project in December 2020.

For generations, the Hamburg Central School District has helped form a strong foundation for successful lives and a vibrant community. Our 10-year Facilities Plan will modernize our school buildings and assure that we continue to do so for generations to come. 

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