Senator Joe Robach announced that the State Senate today passed his legislation (S.6347-A), a multi-million dollar funding bill that will help the Rochester City School District undertake a major renovation project to improve a number of its aging school buildings. This bill also allows the District and the City of Rochester to form a joint schools construction board to manage and finance a comprehensive facilities modernization plan for Rochester’s schools.
“I was very pleased to sponsor this bill in the Senate to allow this state funding to rehabilitate Rochester’s aging school buildings to move forward,” said Senator Joe Robach. “These improvements will ensure that our facilities provide a safe and secure environment for our children to learn and for our educators to teach. I want to thank everyone involved for working together to make sure theRochester community benefits from this available State funding to rehabilitate and upgrade our city schools.
At a press event held last week on this topic, Malik Evans, Rochester Board of Education Vice President and chair of the Board’s Community & Intergovernmental Relations Committee said, “The Facilities Modernization Plan will benefit our students and our community. A great many of us worked long and hard to secure this legislation; to see it come to fruition is extremely satisfying. Our local delegation is to be commended for everything they do for our community; the passage of this Legislation will have lasting significance.
Evans added, “The Board of Education listened to the community when the project was in the initial planning stages and we will continue to listen.”
At the same event, Dr. William C. Cala, Rochester Interim Superintendent of Schools said, “I am very pleased that we will soon be able to move ahead with improvements to our buildings, which goes hand in hand with our goal of improving student achievement. This legislation paves the way for projects that will not only benefit our schools but also reinvigorate our neighborhoods and stimulate community pride in the city and its schools.”
Robach added, “At a time when gridlock is plaguing action on a number of issues in Albany, I am very happy to share with Rochester residents that on a very urgent issue here in our city, we were able to move forward and get it done. As always, I look forward to public input on how this funding will be utilized to ensure appropriate transparency and accountability as we continue to seek improved student achievement in our schools.”
The Facilities Modernization Plan is designed to meet several objectives including the following:
· Help city students receive the education they deserve.
· Enable school buildings to utilize modern teaching methods and technologies to support student learning.
· Create city schools that are appealing to students, families, and high-quality professional staff.
· Increase community pride in neighborhoods.
· Create jobs for skilled workers in the local workforce.
· Benefit other efforts to improve the community including the Rochester Children’s Zone and the revitalization of struggling neighborhoods.
The bill will be delivered to the Governor for signage into law.