More Mergers Coming

SINCLAIRVILLE – The Cassadaga Valley Central School District will be exploring the possibility of sports mergers.

On Monday, the CVCS Board of Education held a regular meeting in which participation projections for its fall sports programs were presented by Mark Petersen, athletic director.

According to Thomas Schmidt, interim superintendent, Petersen’s presentation indicated abnormally low numbers in four boys varsity sports categories: wrestling, soccer, football and track. Peterson went on to discuss the numbers involving varsity football, 19; wrestling, eight; varsity soccer, five boys; and varsity track, 15 boys and 15 girls.

“It is mind-boggling how it got to this point so quickly,” Peterson said. “Everything is changing so drastically.”

“These are areas where we have concerns with low numbers,” Schmidt said after the meeting. “And they’re mostly in the boys’ sports; our girls’ sports numbers are looking good.”

Peterson is worried there might not be very many Class D schools left to play in future games, and the problem of recruiting students into sports gets worse every year.

When considering the possibility of merging sports programs, Schmidt said, the district needs to keep safety and opportunity at the forefront of its decision-making.

“If we don’t have the right sized kids in the right positions in football, for example, somebody’s going to get hurt. In terms of opportunity, if we only have five boys available for soccer, the opportunity is not there to have a team. So, we then have to take a look at the possibility of having talks with another school about what we can do. So, that’s what we’re going to do,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said CVCS is planning to enter into discussions with Bemus Point Central School next week about potentially combining sports programs.

Though nothing has been decided regarding the merging, he said the district will also be holding an informational meeting for parents Jan. 7 at 6 p.m., to inform them of what the district has found in terms of its projections.

In other business, the board approved a resolution for a water supply agreement with the village of Sinclairville.

The resolution said the district is replacing and relocating its water line on campus and on adjoining parcels in order to continue its connection to the village water system.

“We’re having a new water line put in as part of an ongoing project we have,” Schmidt said. “The new water line is coming up from Sinclairville to the school, and it should be finished in the next couple weeks. So, we should be approved by the village of Sinclairville to use the water.”

Other concerns involved the old elementary school.

Cassadaga Village Mayor LeeAnn Lazarony said she wants to know what is happening with the building.

“I have talked to a lot of people, and the village wants to know what you are going to do with the school,” she said. “Since the heater is still on we want to use the gym for a recreation center for kids to practice in during the winter; it is really nice for our kids to have some place to go.”

President Carl Perry said he will make a point to keep the village involved in their plans, and a meeting will be set at a later date to discuss that matter.

Holiday hours for the school buildings and fitness center were also approved as follows: Sinclairville Elementary School will be closed from Dec. 23 through Jan. 5; all district buildings will be closed Dec. 24, Dec. 25, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, with the fitness center also closed on Jan. 5; and the middle/high school will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 27, Dec. 28, Dec. 30, Jan. 3 and Jan. 4. The fitness center morning hours will be 6-9 a.m. and afternoon hours will be 4-7 p.m.

The next school board meeting has been changed to Sinclairville Elementary School on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. The board said it will have a meeting to discuss the Common Core learning standards Jan. 15 at 6 p.m.