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Focus On Facilities

This past Monday was the first school board meeting of the new year for the Oyster Bay School District and it was back to business as Assistant Superintendent for Finance & Operations Christopher Van Cott outlined the district's facilities update.

“It is a three part plan,” said Van Cott. “We’re focusing on current project status, potential 2014-15 capital reserve items and long-term capital needs.”

Projects that were approved by voters in May of 2012 are replacement and renovation of Oyster Bay High School’s bathrooms, masonry, lockers, outside message board, front plaza and administration building windows.

These projects were delayed approval by the State Education Department because of the priority of Superstorm Sandy projects. They are expected to be bid upon this spring with work expected to start on them in the summer.

“As of now work on the lockers in the high school is primarily complete,” said Van Cott.

Other projects that were voter approved last May are window replacement in the Teddy Roosevelt School, upgrades to gas service in the high school and Vernon, HVAC improvements in Teddy Roosevelt and replacement of the science wing windows in the high school.

These projects were submitted to the SED in November 2013 and are expected to be approved this spring.

Potential capital reserve items which will be voted on in May include construction and new equipment for school parking lots, windows, roofs, masonry, field house renovation, bathrooms and sidewalks.

The existing capital reserve has a term of twenty years expiring in June 2026. As of June 30, 2013 the capital reserve balance is $3,844,265 with $6.1 million committed/expended.

For 2014-15, potential use of the reserve will go to renovation of high school parking lots and the bus loop and drainage of the tennis courts. Roof repairs and electrical panels will also focused on in the high school. The Vernon School will have exterior masonry work and ceiling replacements performed. The total for all work not including the tennis courts amounts to $1,425,000.

Van Cott listed long term capital projects as the “Big Ticket” items.

“Our future needs will be focused on the athletic fields at the Christie Property, the high school’s art and music wing expansion, the Vernon module building and an AC unit for the high school’s auditorium and cafeteria.”

The next business meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 21 in the high school library.

News

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



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