The Herricks High School cafeteria renovation project is on track to be finished by the start of the school year, officials announced at last Thursday’s school board meeting.
Students will be welcomed back on Sept. 4 to a new cafeteria designed with Herricks’ blue and white colors throughout the design.
Gary Gonzalez, the vice president of Park East Construction Corp., said contractors are currently working on the cafeteria ceilings and that floor work is almost done.
But there is also a delay on the roofs for the new comfort station by the football field and track, Gonzalez said, pushing the completion date to Sept. 14.
The comfort station will not be ready for the start of school, as previously mentioned at a July meeting, but is expected to be complete in time for a Sept. 15 football game.
New lights will soon be put in by the track, Gonzalez also said, which was renovated and completed in May.
Superintendent Fino Celano said it is currently unknown what hours these lights will be on for, but that the district will consult with surrounding districts on when they allow lights to be on.
As previously mentioned in July, Gonzalez said the new 16,000-seat bleachers will not be ready in time for the start of the year but be in place by Oct. 15, in time for the Oct. 26 homecoming football game.
Temporary bleachers will be put in during the time being.
During the meeting the board also addressed a question from a resident, who asked to remain anonymous, on where the board stands on placing an armed guard at school facilities.
Board Vice President Brian Hassan said he does not want to be responsible for authorizing a gun onto school property.
Trustee Henry Zanetti said he used to work in law enforcement, and every once in a while someone can mess up.
Trustee Jim Gounaris said he is not personally opposed to the presence of an armed guard, but said there is too much ground to cover and it would be difficult to discern the right amount of coverage needed.
Celano said placing armed guards at schools can also change the how students feel in the building; the presence of armed guards has the chance of making a school feel more like a prison than a place where students feel safe and comfortable, he said.
The resident asked if the district has considered an armed guard who would patrol the different facilities across the district, remaining outside.
Celano and Hassan said the district will reach out to a problem oriented police officer about the idea.
Celano also said the district has preventative training in place, which he said is key in trying to address students that may become disturbed.
The district also has a number of safety measures in place, much of which can not be disclosed for safety precautions, Celano said.
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