Written by Daniel Offner Wednesday, 05 February 2014 00:00
After reviewing several proposals for the 11.3 acre property that currently houses the Geneva N. Gallow and Stephen J. Karopcyc schools, the Island Trees School District has announced it plans to sell the property to a developer for construction of 160 to 247 condominium units for residents ages 55 and up.
Presently, the school district spends over $200,000 a year to maintain both Gallow and Karopcyc school facilities, which have been closed for conventional classes for more than 20 years. According to school officials, the sale of the property will not only reduce maintenance costs by $200,000, it will also provide at least $500,000 per year in new tax revenue. The district will gain $700,000 per year by relinquishing the property, plus money made from the land sale.
All of the new housing units will be built solely for sale as condominiums, and will include sufficient parking located inside the development to ensure there is no overflow of parking outside the site. Although the development will be for residents 55 and older, there are no restrictions against children. Any student enrollment increase brought as a result of the new development is anticipated to be minimal and maintained in the district’s current schools.
While school officials have determined what the project will entail, they had not finalized any contract with the developer as of press time. Should the district approve, any revenue from the sale will be placed into a reserve fund.
“It’s not a done deal yet,” said Island Trees Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “We still need to iron out a few things with the [Island Trees] Public Library Board.”
The sale will require the district to relocate the Island Trees Public Library, SCOPE Preschool and school district offices. The district offices will move to Michael F. Stokes Elementary School, and the SCOPE pre-school program to the J. Fred Sparke Elementary School.
But plans moving the library in particular raised concerns.
“For a community with a large library, this might not seem so detrimental,” said Levittown resident Laura Giunta, regarding the district’s plan to hire an architect to design space for the library inside the Memorial Middle School. “The Island Trees Public Library is significantly smaller than libraries in neighboring communities. Any decrease to the size of the library’s location will have a major negative impact on the library, which already is in need of expansion.”
Through a Facebook survey, the district found 97 percent of residents polled use the library’s services.
“With so many Island Trees residents using the library, the school district has an obligation to see to it that our community has the best library it can,” Giunta added.
According to Murphy, the plan will potentially improve the Island Trees Public Library.
“With a proposition like this, it is imperative we have the community on board,” Murphy said. “We want to make sure it is full steam ahead before we sign any contract.”
Although the trustees have identified one proposal that they feel serves the best interests of the community, it has yet to agree to anything.
On Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m., the Island Trees Board of Education will meet at the high school, to discuss the proposals with the community.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
Jessy Davidson, a student at MacArthur High School in Levittown, organized and held a blood drive at the John Theissen Children’s Foundation on Wantagh Ave. this past weekend.
Davidson, a junior, hopes to earn a small college scholarship through the New York Blood Center Bloodstock Scholarship Program by hosting this blood drive. If at least 30 donors come through, she will qualify for the scholarship.
Anyone who is in high school is able to participate in this scholarship, according to Davidson.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
On Feb. 27, parents in the Levittown, East Meadow, Massapequa and Farmingdale school districts came together for an informal panel discussion on the New York State Education Department and the implementation of the state Common Core Learning Standards.
Panelists included New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, Jeanette Deutermann of the Long Island Opt Out Facebook page, and former public school teacher David Greene, who came to the Farmingdale Public Library to talk with local parents about key concerns and questions with the curriculum.
An outspoken parent and founder of the Long Island Opt Out movement, Deutermann, delved into some of the factors behind what led to the state’s adoption of the Common Core, and how the state education department cites high school graduation rates as its reasoning behind the curriculum.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees track program is pleased to announce that four members of the team will be participating in the New York State tournament. Students honored include:
Alexa Dolgos with a personal best of 1.37 in the 600 meter run; Alyssa Mustafa with a personal best of 17 feet, 3.5 inches in the long jump and a personal best of 36 minutes 1.3 seconds in the triple jump competition; Andrew Zabala with a personal best of 43 feet 5 inches in the triple jump; and Joe Stanco with 47 minutes 10.5 seconds in the shot put.
— Submitted by Varsity Track Coach Joseph Manna
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees Bulldogs Wrestling team finished the 2013-2014 season with an overall record of 18-8. The team defeated Syosset in the Dual Meet Championship playoffs 34-27, and then lost to Plainedge in the second round 48-29. The team had a strong season and was ranked no. 8 in Nassau County. The Bulldogs entered 22 wrestlers in the Nassau County Qualifying Tournament, out of which, eleven of the team’s All-League grapplers qualified for the coveted Nassau County Wrestling Tournament. Six wrestlers also received All-Conference honors, with one wrestler earning a wildcard into the tournament, for a total of 12 Island Trees wrestlers competing.