Anton Community Newspapers  •  132 East 2nd Street  •  Mineola, NY 11501  •  Phone: 516-747-8282  •  FAX: 516-742-5867
Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Sewanhaka Bond Set For May Vote

The Sewanhaka Central High School District will have another bond referendum vote on May 20, the same day as the school budget, to save on voting costs.

The school board selected a $86.61 million bond proposal last week. If upheld by voters next month, the plan will contribute significant upgrades and renovations to the district's five schools and two vocational buildings. The plan is a slightly smaller version of the proposal residents voted down last December.

If the bond were to fail again, district officials say, Sewanhaka would face possible program and staff cuts. Important capital projects would need to be put into the operating budget.

“In a tax levy cap world, you’re already facing possible cuts,” Board President Dave Fowler said. “In my view, it’s part of the educational cannibalism going on. We’re feeding on ourselves and [with the tax levy] this is a reality we face.”

Athletic field work for the entire district totals about $16 million, according to district officials. The proposal reduces gym additions at all the schools except Elmont Memorial High School, which is set to receive a $2 million upgrade. The proposal pares down field work at New Hyde Park Memorial High School, but will still include synthetic turf for football and field hockey fields.

“Athletic facilities will still be sodded and irrigated appropriately throughout the district,” District Superintendent Ralph Ferrie said. “There are three tracks that have to be patched, fields leveled and tennis courts repaired. The New Hyde

Park gym ceiling project will be completed within the capital projects of next year’s budget, not in the bond.”

All auditoriums will receive upgrades but not air conditioning. The outside seating areas at H. Frank Carey High School originally proposed were eliminated and a new elevator will be included. Sewanhaka will still receive a new, albeit smaller, cafeteria addition, saving Sewanhaka $2.3 million.

“The time is now,” said Fowler. “[We need] to get as much of our capital needs meet as possible.”

Fowler said the upgrades are necessary for the health and welfare of students. “We just simply can’t keep with the things that are necessary for them,” he said. “

New Hyde Park resident Christine Grincato was concerned with the interest that will accrue on the bond and potential tax increases that will take effect if it’s approved. The December bond would have raised taxes $144.26 per household.

“We need to see the numbers [for the new bond],” said Grincato. “I want to know how much this is going to cost.”

The previous bond’s interest rate was 3.25 percent, with a .25 percent escalation each year, according to Ferrie. He did not know the possible tax increase as of last week.

“All of the money could not be borrowed the first year [with the last bond],” said Ferrie. “In New York, you can’t borrow money until you’re prepared to do the work.”

The projects would be carried out over a period of three to four years. About 47 percent of the debt issued would be paid through New York State building aid.

“If this bond issue is about repair to the buildings, why does the school board continue to include massive amounts of money for athletics facilities and the remodeling of school auditoriums, plus many unnecessary renovations?” said Floral Park resident Milton Brush. “The option [selected] goes beyond the means taxpayers can afford.”

Sewanhaka has solicited proposals on performance energy contracts, which would let companies evaluate building lighting, windows, roofs, heating, ventilating and air condition systems, etc. for renovation. Any savings would decrease any bond option’s amount by an estimated $10 million and increase building aid from the state.

The district is currently reviewing bids for those contracts.

News

As high school students are just getting back to the routine of being back in class, several of Floral Park’s former students are now beginning their new lives after college. Floral Park’s 2010 high school graduates have now finished college and entered “the real world.” Despite a fickle job market, Floral Park Memorial graduate, Christopher Clarke has found work in downtown Boston, MA at a company called Amino Apps.

“I began as a marketing intern over the summer and am now a full-time member of the team doing inbound marketing and community management work,” said Clarke, a Duke University graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology.

The Nassau County Robbery Squad detectives are investigating a bank robbery that occurred on Wednesday, Sept. 17 which occurred at 5:40 p.m. in Floral Park.

According to detectives, a black, male subject entered the Capital One Bank, 170 Tulip Ave. and approached a teller. The subject produced a handgun and demanded money. After obtaining an undisclosed about of cash, the subject fled the bank and was last seen heading southbound on Plainfield Ave. The subject was described as being 35 to 40 years old, 6’ tall, stocky build, wearing a dark colored baseball cap, sunglasses, a white T-shirt and dark pants, During the incident there were four employees and one customer present. No injuries were reported.


Calendar

Chamber of Commerce’s Networking Event

Thursday, October 2

West End Civic Association To Meet

Thursday, October 2

Town of Hempstead’s E-Cycling Collection

Sunday, October 5



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com