Manhasset ed board eyes seven projects as capital reserve priorities

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Manhasset Public Schools superintendent Vincent Butera presents the most recent capital reserve project updates at the first January board of education meeting. (Photo by Teri West)

The Manhasset Board of Education has whittled down the list of potential capital reserve-funded construction projects to seven, which combined are only about $1.8 million over the fund’s capacity.

In February, the board will learn how much money the district has left over from the year, savings that could be devoted to funding projects on the list that exceed the $4.8 million capital reserve availability, Superintendent Vincent Butera said Thursday at the board’s meeting.

The board does not expect left-over funds to make up for the $6.67 million that all seven projects would require, but it is optimistic that it will be able to fund all but one, he said.

“The 4.8 could become 5.4, 5.5, but it will not become 6.6,” Butera said. “In February when we have a better sense of what that 4.8 number could become, then the board can make decision and say, ‘All right, we need a million dollars off, where are we taking it?’”

The three top priority projects on the list are two security vestibules, one for Shelter Rock Elementary School and one for the secondary school, and additional classrooms for Munsey Park Elementary School, Butera said.

The others include, for the secondary school, an elevator, social emotional learning wing, and technology wing and innovation lab and, for Shelter Rock Elementary School, a loading dock reconstruction.

“We’ve got things that we’re focusing on, and [the list is] consistent with the priorities that we’ve discussed over the last few meetings,” said Trustee Pat Aitken. “I think it’s good.”

The Munsey Park classroom construction and reconfiguration would add four classrooms to the school.

There are currently 42 class sections. The board expects that number to increase to 45 in coming years and then level off.

Having 46 classrooms would provide flexibility, Butera said.

The stage in the multipurpose room would turn into two levels of rooms, a project that would cost $1.25 million. Due to a lack of windows, that area would not host regular classes but instead perhaps serve as space for conferences or special classes such as art.

On the second floor, the art room, assistant principal’s office, waiting room and a neighboring classroom would be reconfigured into four classrooms. That would cost $1.012 million.

If able to proceed as expected, the project would be complete by the summer of 2020, Butera said.

District architect John Grillo will be at the board’s Feb. 7 meeting to further discuss the details.

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