Manhasset School Superintendent Vincent Butera said the capital plan projects, partly funded by the $19.6 million bond approved in 2014, are mostly completed and under budget, and the district is looking to finish a few more with the remaining money.
During a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, trustees voted unanimously, with President Regina Rule and Trustee Pat Aitken absent, to approve submitting plans for two additional projects under the bond: an approximately $1 million asphalt paving and water main project and a $68,000 exterior door replacement project, both at the secondary school.
Plans will be submitted to the state Education Department for approval and the district must receive bids before any project is approved.
During a presentation on the finished work across the district, the director of facilities, Armand Markarian, said most projects are completed except security lighting at Munsey Park Elementary School, eight bathrooms in kindergarten classrooms and a secondary school cafeteria expansion.
The bids for the kindergarten bathrooms came back too high, Markarian said, so the project was postponed, and the cafeteria expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
Manhasset school district residents approved a $19.6 million bond in 2014 for approximately $22.6 million in capital improvement projects. Deputy Superintendent Rosemary Johnson said the projected cost of the projects is estimated to leave $1.36 million that can be used on only three possible projects approved in 2014: asphalt replacement at the secondary school, exterior doors at the secondary school or additional toilets.
Additional toilet work is estimated at $294,000, Johnson said.
Johnson and Markarian requested the board proceed with the asphalt and doors before the additional toilets.
Johnson said the water main, near the back of the campus, has broken twice recently and needs to be replaced, so any asphalt work needs to be done after the main is replaced or “we’re just throwing good money out with the bath.”
While trustees approved the submission of plans to the state, not all trustees were sold on spending $1 million on asphalt.
“I’ve expressed my sentiments on this. I am quite opposed to spending any great amount of money on any asphalt,” Trustee Carlo Prinzo said. “I’d like to buy $1 million worth of books. I’d like to buy $1 million worth of gizmos.”
Prinzo agreed the water main needed to be fixed but said he would rather see the main replaced and not the entire parking lot be repaved.
“But something does have to be done,” Ann Marie Curd, the board vice president, said. “You’re not up here every day anymore. It’s pretty bad.”
During the presentation, Markarian showed a number of before-and-after photos of projects completed around the district.
At Munsey Park Elementary School, children returned from summer break this fall to a brand new cafeteria experience with an extended hot food line and a new cold food line.
“This is a very large project,” Markarian said. “They used to enter into the serving line from the corridor before the construction.”
The cafeteria kitchen was gutted, and new electrical work and plumbing and equipment were installed along with air conditioning.
Three science rooms were renovated, safer padding was added to the gymnasium walls and four music rooms were merged into two larger music rooms at Munsey Park.
The majority of the work at Shelter Rock Elementary School was completed last summer, including a reconfigured band room with acoustic ceilings, new lights and air conditioning and rubber safety surfaces on the playgrounds.
The secondary school received a new chorus room and a new band room, the former superintendent’s office was remodeled into an art room, and the old bus garage became the new district office.
Science classrooms throughout the district were also updated.
“We thought it was important to address the board and the community about items, specifically what has been done with the 2014 bond,” Butera said. “The community did trust a significant number of dollars for a significant number of projects. We’re at a point now where most of those have been completed. This is an opportunity to showcase what has been done.”