Mineola Board of Education holding vote to expand high school campus

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Mineola Board of Education holding vote to expand high school campus
A vote next Tuesday will decide if Mineola High School will be expanding their campus to 2400 Jericho Turnpike. (Photo courtesy of the Mineola Public School District)

The Mineola Board of Education is holding a community referendum next Tuesday to possibly expand Mineola High School’s campus. 

Residents in the school district will vote on a $4.25 million proposal to purchase commercial property at 2400 Jericho Turnpike, Garden City Park, according to a news release. 

The site, the current home of Sperry Associates Federal Credit Union, sits adjacent to the existing high school on an 1.5-acre property and its acquisition would come at no additional cost to taxpayers, the district said. Undesignated fund balance monies, otherwise known as the district’s surplus, will be used to finance the purchase. 

Recently, New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli cited fiscal mismanagement by the board in regard to having too large a surplus under state guidelines. The board disputed the findings and said the district’s surplus, which is approved every year during the budget vote, creates advantages to fund projects in the district.  

A new district program, Synergy, will take place in the property and serve as an innovative method of learning, according to the district. 

Speaking on the proposal, Superintendent Michael Nagler said the district will create an unforeseen addition to the campus. 

“Mineola is designing the high school of the future,” he said in a statement. “This new model of schooling puts the learner at the center, providing students with options for new experiences through internships and opportunities to develop skills outside a typical classroom setting, while still satisfying all high school credits.”

Among other things, Synergy drops the traditional 40-minute block teaching format.

Seventy park spaces are included on the property. The district foresees the addition as adding a campus feel for high schoolers, allowing them to travel to and from multiple buildings throughout the school day. 

The district just completed a five-year plan that began in 2016 and incorporated a building condition survey.  A number of maintenance projects have been completed since the start of the year, including infrastructure, HVAC and locker upgrades. 

At a Board of Education meeting in March that went over the next five years of capital planning, recommendations involved continued work at Jackson Avenue School, and a preliminary idea for renovating the middle school such as a new gym, fitness center and cafeteria. 

Voting on the community referendum will be held on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Jackson Avenue and Meadow Drive schools. 

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