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Ken-Ton Celebrates Busy Summer of Capital Project Work

Click here to view a video recording of the event

On Tuesday, June 20th, Superintendent Sabatino Cimato was joined by numerous local and state representatives for the Capital Project Summer Kick-Off & Steel Signing Ceremony at Edison Elementary School. This event marked an exciting milestone for the Ken-Ton School District as the district kicked off a busy summer of construction and looks forward to the continued transformation of school district facilities.

Attending the event were Kenmore Mayor Patrick Mang, Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Joseph Emminger, Deputy County Executive Lisa Chimera, Erie County Legislators Michael Kooshoian and John Bargnesi, State Senator Sean Ryan, and Peter Stuhlmiller representing Assemblyman William Conrad, as well as school and district administrators, current/incoming Board of Education members, and representatives of the district's architectural and construction partners, Campus Construction and CPL.

The following remarks were provided by Superintendent Cimato:

"The fact that we are all gathered here today is a testament to the collaboration and partnership that exists in this community.

"As I said at the beginning, today is about the continued revitalization of the Town of Tonawanda and the Village of Kenmore. Ken-Ton is already an amazing place to live and raise a family. We have beautiful neighborhoods and parks, unparalleled municipal services from the Town and Village, great schools, a strong community, a thriving economy, and a proud, rich history. Ken-Ton also remains an extremely affordable place to live and we continue to see the real estate market flourish. People are taking notice of Ken-Ton and we are extremely excited about this trajectory. With our partnerships with the town, village, and with our county and state representatives, we are destined to make it even better.

"It's amazing to think about everything that’s been accomplished over the past few years: a new full-day Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program in our reopened Hamilton Elementary building, historic investments in instructional technology, expansion of our extremely successful Big Picture Program, greater mental health resources, and increased security measures such as door hardening, weapons of mass casualty detectors, and school safety officers in schools.

"Of course, we are also seeing significant upgrades to buildings and facilities through the Capital Project as well. Much work has already been accomplished, including a new multi-use artificial turf athletic field at Kenmore East, a new parent pick-up/drop-off loop at Kenmore West, an adaptive playground at Hoover, and beautiful new energy-efficient windows here at Edison and Lindbergh Elementary. That's just the start. As you can see, our new classroom additions here at Edison and at Hoover Elementary are taking shape. Like all buildings, these two schools will also receive new, more secured entrances and new water pipes to improve water quality. Additionally, Edison will see a new bus loop and pick-up/drop-off lane, and Hoover will see a new pick-up/drop-off loop. These will enhance traffic flow and safety and will have an extremely positive impact on the daily experience of our students, families, and neighbors living around the school.

"Although we have already accomplished a great deal, I am excited to announce that our work does not stop here. We must continue to move this district forward. Nothing is off the table. We will continue to examine our grade level configurations. We will continue to expand our newly designed pathway programs. We will continue to enhance our academic offerings. And we are considering a new capital project proposal. That proposal will focus on our instructional needs, including some of the things I already mentioned. We also must understand that every decision we make with our buildings has a dramatic impact on our programming as well as our surrounding community. We saw this at Hamilton Elementary, where the reopening of that building as our UPK hub two years ago not only increased our enrollment but also had a transformational impact on the neighborhood around it.

"We will always make sure that, when we move forward with capital work, we do it right. That priority is what guided our strategic decision to remove components planned for Lindbergh from our current project as a result of inflation. Lindbergh will be our first focus in our next capital project and we will be able to go beyond what was planned in our current project. We will do it right.

"We will also be considering the future of Kenmore Junior/Senior High School. Yes, you heard that right: Kenmore Junior/Senior High School, not Kenmore Middle.  We’ve come a long way as a district. A decade ago, the future of that building was uncertain. Now, we are continuing to expand our state-of-the-art secondary programming there and seeking to reestablish the building as the center of the community. We also learned on Friday that the NYS Education Department has approved our application for a BEDS code. This designates the building as an independent school for the first time since 2016 with Kenmore Junior/Senior High as the building’s new name. As some of you may know, that was the building’s original name when it opened in 1924. With the expansion of Big Picture to include seventh grade, it is now a junior/senior high school just as it was when it first opened its doors.

"Colleagues, this is a very exciting time. Our district is experiencing a resurgence and we have everyone here to thank. Our local leaders, who have made Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda such a desirable place to live, our elected representatives for advocating for our schools and securing additional funding, all those who made the Capital Project a reality, and of course, all of our teachers, administrators and support staff who provide an education that is second to none. This is a turning point for our community and more is coming. We are Ken-Ton Proud, we are Ken-Ton Strong, and we are Moving Ken-Ton Forward together as one team.

"As a symbol of their lasting legacy, we have had all Edison Elementary fourth-grade students sign this steel beam which will be incorporated into our new structure. I will now ask the final group of students, our Gr. 4 Edison Ambassadors, to come forward and sign the beam."