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School Investment Bond Summer Construction Update

If you haven’t driven by Garden City Middle School this summer, you may want to take a moment to have a look. Massive changes have taken place around the exterior of the building as the first phase of construction for the School Investment Bond has been implemented. A reconfiguration of the parking areas and driveway will provide students with safer bus loading and unloading in a new, dedicated area adjacent to the playing fields. Expanded car parking areas are taking shape behind the school and on the west side, adjacent to Stewart Avenue, and new sidewalks follow the contour of the paved areas along the periphery of the building. Expanding on a new driveway and new sidewalks at the front of the middle school, including an additional ADA accessible ramp, is an access road that parallels Stewart and connects the three new parking areas. Below these new parking and roadway areas, a comprehensive drainage system has been installed to manage rain water runoff. On-target for the opening of the 2010-11 school year, parents picking up middle schoolers or drivers along Stewart Avenue at drop-off and dismissal times should notice a significant reduction in congestion and delays. With the new bus area, student safety will be greatly improved, affording a more visible and orderly arrival and dismissal flow.

Not as obvious when viewed from the ground, but just as large in scope, is the new roofing system installation at Garden City High School. As with the middle school, demolition of the old roof, delivery of materials and hot tarring began the week following the end of the school year. With the exception of the 1997 bond work roof on the then-new library wing and the team locker room roof completed in 2000, the old, chronically-leaking roof was removed down to the decking and a new, multi-layered flat roof installed on the entire high school building. Two areas of sloped roof on the Merrilon Avenue side are scheduled to receive metal roof capping. The new roof will eliminate the leaks and subsequent cosmetic damage that the high school has experienced for years. “The high school roof project is on schedule and continues to be installed as per specifications,” stated Patrick Mehr, director of Facilities. “We were fortunate that the weather cooperated, and I see no issues in completing this project.”

These two large projects at the middle and high school were given priority as essential to student health and safety. They are part of the $36.5 million bond referendum work approved by voters on Oct. 27, 2009. Still to come is work that touches every one of the district’s nine buildings.

Instrumental to the bond work are members of the Facilities Committee who, beginning in the fall of the 2007-2008 school year, dedicated countless hours to preparing a comprehensive facilities review that ultimately resulted in recommendations to the Board of Education for district-wide renovations and construction critical to student health and safety and educational programs. Comprised of community members and staff, this advisory group has met once a month or more, as needed, to review architect’s plans, consider options, monitor construction, and make recommendations. “The diverse backgrounds and experience of the members of the ad hoc committee has proved a real asset in coming up with the ideas and formulating recommendations to the Board of Education,” commented Assistant Superintendent for Business Al Chase. “The committee has put in a lot of hard work and their dedication to this task is very evident.”

Honored for their efforts at the June Board of Education meeting with Board President Colleen Foley and Board liaison to the Facilities Committee, Angela Heineman (right), are members of the ad hoc Facilities Committee Tom Pinou, president of the Western Property Owners Association, Garden City High School Assistant Principal Dave Perrotta, Director of Facilities Patrick Mehr, Garden City Middle School Assistant Principal Susan Lee, Tina Halvatzis, John DeMaro, Assistant Superintendent for Business Al Chase, and James Carney. Absent from the photo were Frank Ruggiero, Evelyn Fasano, Peter Clarke, and Locust Principal Jean Riccotta.

The District extends its deepest gratitude to these hard-working individuals for volunteering their time to ensure that the 2009 School Investment Bond work is completed to the highest standards.

For more information and a photo gallery of this summer’s bond work, visit the District website:; Bond Referendum Page.