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Port Jervis School District makes recommendation to replace middle school

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Albany/HV: Port Jervis School District makes recommendation to replace middle school
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Multi-million dollar options are placed before the Port Jervis Board of Education. The district is looking to rebuild the middle school. YNN's Elaina Athans tells us how much it'll cost.

PORT JERVIS, N.Y. -- "Just the whole set up of the building is antiquated," said Port Jervis Superintendent John Xanthis.

The Port Jervis City School District looking to remedy mounting problems with the current middle school, which has been deemed "deficient." The district presented options to the Board of Education Tuesday to either renovate or replace the school. It was originally built 90 years ago.

The district says the existing structure can be retrofitted and brought up to date for $17 million, but the idea is to build new. The district made a recommendation to build a $62 million school on the same property.

"It would be state of the art. It would have all of the modern things certainly that this school is lacking," said Xanthis.

Last year, a consulting firm reviewed the school and found classrooms where too small, there's poor ventilation, inadequate lighting and cramped science labs, to name a few problems.

Over the years, the district has spent millions of dollars on repairs and safety improvements to keep the facility open. There are about 500 students right now that attend the school.

"We’ve always been cognizant that we don’t want to dump a lot of money into that building because certainly it’s our hope that someday that building will be coming offline," said Xanthis.

The board will be taking some time review and digesting the options. Residents will have a chance to speak out on the choices at a public forum within the next few weeks.

The district says they'll receive a good chunk of state funding for the project. The decision to rebuild or renovate though will ultimately be made by taxpayers and will be decided in a referendum vote.

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