Readers Write: Board of Ed needs more public oversight

The Great Neck Board of Education’s announcement of the repayment of damages incurred during the summer’s roofing work on North High School is concerning. There was water leakage through the roof during a rainstorm because the contractor did not cover the roof with tarpaulin. 

Wouldn’t any roofer think to cover an incomplete job at the end of day while construction work is going on?  This is a basic procedure; not doing so is substandard.  What type of vetting process did the Board of Ed do to select this contractor? 

What does this suggest about all of the other vendors that the Board of Ed selects?  This selection process should be discussed and have greater public oversight. 

Going forward, we need to be concerned about who the board will select to do the construction on the planned student parking lot at the North High School.  This lot is on a steep hill with significant flooding already occurring on the surrounding streets and into neighboring properties over the years. 

When the neighbors asked the board and its architect for details about the drainage planned for this lot, all that was provided was a verbal assurance from the architect that they are experts and the drainage will be adequate. 

The architect also admitted that he had never visited the site during arrival and dismissal times or during storms.

Given the North High roofing debacle and the school’s history of drainage onto neighboring properties from the upper lot as well as street flooding, this is little comfort to the neighbors. 

The board has not provided a detailed plan about the proposed drainage to the public so that its adequacy can be assessed by others. 

The board’s past performance indicates that future work on this ill-conceived lot would not be done correctly.  Is the school district prepared to pay for ongoing costs for damage that will be caused to the affected properties onto which their water will be drained? 

It would be more appropriate to abandon the construction of what is really an unneeded and costly lot.  Why exacerbate neighborhood flooding for an unnecessary project?

Robert Mendelson

Great Neck

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