It was a perfect morning on Friday, September 23rd to assemble on the bridge entryway to the school to hear some good news. And it was quite a gathering: all the schoolchildren, faculty and staff as well as members of the Board of Education. They were there to witness the announcement by State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta), after an introduction by Dr. Chakar, that he has secured a $140,000 state grant to fund reconstruction work on that very entrance that they traverse every day. “I feel like crying, this is such good news,” Dora Chambers, an aide at the school, confided to this reporter. Sen. Seward introduced our own Dorothy Andrews, whom he had spoken with moments earlier about her memories as a high school student when the building and entryway were constructed. She had seen the cornerstone placed on the school building.

Senator Seward praised Andes Central School’s commitment to special programs and individual student attention as well as the competent and caring staff and administration among others of the school’s “many positive attributes including the iconic pedestrian bridge and rock walls that accentuate the school’s entryway. As you drive along Delaware Avenue in Andes, the school building stands out, and preserving the site’s historic nature means a great deal to alumni and the entire community. Properly maintaining the main public entry is also key from a safety perspective.”picture7

Andes Central School Superintendent Doctor Robert Chakar, Jr. said, “The distinctive entry to Andes Central School is cherished by those who have attended the school and the community as a whole. Thanks to Senator Seward we are able to maintain this important connection to our past without sacrificing other important student needs or raising taxes.”

The $140,000 capital grant secured by Senator Seward through the State and Municipal Facilities Program will support major reconstruction of the school’s historic entrance: it will be used to replace the existing 80 year old pedestrian bridge with a new cast-in-place concrete arched span. The replacement will feature improved drainage, a new stone veneer, and additional upgrades consistent with the historic nature of the bridge.

“I am extremely pleased to partner with the Andes Central School to ensure future generations of students will continue to walk in the footsteps of their predecessors as they cross Tremperskill Creek and prepare to learn at the storied school,” concluded Seward.

The reconstruction project is anticipated to begin in summer 2017. ~