By Ethan Marshall
The Mineola Board of Education considered several upcoming projects during last Thursday’s meeting, including upgrades to the middle and high school auditoriums.
The board intends to devote $4 million from the $99,955,750 budget for 2019-20 to projects such as those under consideration.
New rigging, power to stage lights, power supplies and lights would be installed in the auditoriums, according to Superintendent Michael Nagler.
Another project is a redesign of the high school cafeteria. According to Nagler, the original walls would be replaced with sheet rock and repainted, and new ceiling tiles would be installed.
Additionally, four flat screen TVs would be installed.
Other projects include removing trees around the high school parking lot, the construction of a baseball practice facility, interior door replacements at Hampton and Meadow Drive elementary schools, the creation of a robotics room at the high school, the refurnishing of the walkway in front of Jackson Avenue Elementary and the completion of a door project on the second and third floors of the high school.
In addition to these projects, Nagler said some money may be set aside for fixing leaky windows at Jackson Avenue. However, there is not enough funding to pay for the whole project, and he said he doesn’t view it as a priority since it won’t affect the students.
According to Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Jack Waters, the proposed budget for technology equipment went up $300,000 from $530,000 to $830,000 for 2019-20. Additionally, $150,000 may be shifted to the purchase of pre-kindergarten furniture and weight room equipment for the high school.
The board will decide what projects will get done when it adopts the 2019-20 budget in mid-April.
In the early stages of Thursday night’s meeting, eight Jackson Avenue Elementary School fourth-grade students were recognized for their hard work in science as part of Exploravision: a national science contest for K-12 schools.
Under the supervision of the school’s science teacher, Sid Burgreen, the students would arrive at school early and begin working on their projects at 8 a.m. each school day. The students divided into two groups and began thinking of ideas for technology that can be created within the next 20 years to solve problems.
All eight students were awarded certificates by the Mineola Board of Education for their work. The students came up with the ideas of a dog-human communication app and bio-degradable latex balloons. The latter group was selected as an honorable mention in Exploravision, meaning it placed in the top 10 percent.
According to Burgreen, the children had a lot of fun during this venture. He said one student told him “I felt like a detective solving a mystery.” Another student told him the result was to “grow fond of science.”