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Sewanhaka Bond Vote Is Next Week

Sewanhaka Central High School District residents will go to the polls next Tuesday, May 20 to vote on the proposed $86.6 million bond referendum. If approved, the bond would contribute significant upgrades and renovations to the district’s five schools and two vocational buildings. Forty-seven percent of the bond would be covered by New York State aid.

Taxpayers would need to pay $114 per year. This is the second time the district has floated the bond, which failed last December by 293 votes.

“The long term cost of not doing this is going to be devastating to the school district in that in a tax levy cap world, the reason we need a bond at this point is that we’ve been unable to maintain the buildings as we should,” said school board president Dave Fowler.

Technology infrastructure and security upgrades would take place at all five schools as well as new roofs. New Hyde Park Memorial High School would receive $10.8 million in renovations, including new science and music rooms, renovated parking lots, revamped auditorium as well as door replacements. New wrestling and fitness rooms, guidance offices and a roof are also planned.

“Cautious optimism,” school board trustee Dave Del Santo said of the mood in the district. “We hope the voters understand the necessity of repairs that have to be made at the schools.”

Sewanhaka High School is slated for $28 million in renovations, including a new cafeteria, gymnasium, art rooms and a restored auditorium. It could also receive new locker rooms and a relocated and renovated library.

Floral Park Memorial High School would gain $18.4 million in upgrades and renovations. The school would gain an expanded auditorium and music rooms, new heating and ventilation systems and masonry restorations.

“This bond is primarily about the infrastructure of the district,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ralph Ferrie said. “The roofs, the masonry work, lighting, classroom upgrades...that’s where the primary focus is.”

Elmont Memorial High School’s $14.7 million would include a new full-size gym, renovated art rooms, tennis courts and windows. Other updates include new masonry, parking and driveway areas.

“It would be a shame to not take advantage of the [state aid] that’s available at this time,” said Del Santo. “We only hope the voters understand at the end of the day, the improvements that are at stake.”

H. Frank Carey High School ($12.6 million) needs upgrades to its auditorium, lockers, doors and exit lights. Additional work includes a refinished gym floor, fitness rooms, tennis courts and weight rooms.

The district would also install one synthetic turf field at each high school. Field maintenance and upgrades are also scheduled for the Alva T. Stanforth athletic fields ($1.54 million).

“I believe the reception has been good throughout the communities,” said Fowler. “These are older buildings that are in need of capital improvements.”

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.

New Hyde Park resident Christine Grincato has been opposed to the bond options that were presented at recent board meetings, before the district selected next week’s proposed plan.

“There is very little difference between these and the original bond that was offered.” she said recently.

News

Maybe not a scene from the rap song video, Thrift Shop, but the popular spot in Floral Park to score some of the best deals on lightly used goods and clothing, the United Methodist Church’s Thrift Shop, was just as exciting to watch when it re-opened to customers for the season. The thrift shop re-opened on Wednesday, Sept. 3 after being closed for the summer for restocking, cleaning and organizing the shelves and racks.

Thrift Shop Manager Dolores Rossi said more than nine volunteers helped throughout the summer to get the shop back into top shape for its re-opening, including her 17-year-old grandsons, Andrew Rossi of Floral Park and Jake Kennedy of New Hyde Park.

In 1963, Sewanhaka High School alumni and Floral Park resident, Adele Werthmuller pulled out her yearbook. She was on a mission and began paging through the pictures and names of her beloved classmates. She decided to look through the phone book for familiar names. She said, “I kept in contact with many of my girlfriends so I started looking for the men first.”


Calendar

Floral Park Memorial High School Class of 1964

Friday, September 12

Bellerose Village Day

Saturday, September 13

34th Annual Antique Motorcycle Show

Sunday, September 14



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