By Emily Berkowitz
In a unanimous vote at its Sept. 4 meeting, the PW Board of Education approved the design development plan for Schreiber High School, taking another step forward in its multi-year, district-wide building construction and renovation program.
A representative of the district's architectural firm, the Spector Group, detailed the changes and additions to the high school, and displayed to the school board the floor plans, exterior renderings, and some of the materials for the walls and floors. Among the ground floor improvements highlighted were the following:
* a full basketball court, and a wellness center
* an expanded physical education space, an enlarged locker room for girls,
* an OT/PT room
* new English Language Labs
* new classrooms in the three-story addition, with lockers lining the corridor
* a handicapped elevator and two new handicapped accessible toilets, as well as an expanded foreign languages office
* a new science research room.
For the first floor, the plans call for a greatly enlarged cafeteria, a one-story tech/music addition, an art exhibition/gallery area, and a performance area. The first floor will also have new classrooms, and a section of a new science "complex." Also planned are:
* an expanded band room
* larger photography and dark rooms
* an expansion of the nurse's office into a suite-like arrangement.
The proposed new library "promises to be one of the nicest high school libraries on LI," the Spector representative said. Students will find increased seating and computer research stations, among many new features. The site of the high school's current library will become the student commons.
Spector's plans call for the exterior of the high school, including the additions, to be similar in appearance; brickwork and other materials used on the new construction will match the existing building's exterior.
After the presentation, school board member Nancy Cowles asked a number of questions pertaining to handicapped access to labs, rooms, and performance areas. The architect replied that there was sufficient turning radius for a wheelchair user in the laboratories; they are looking into the other areas. When Cowles expressed concern about the overall space allocated for special education, the Spector representative said that three of the new rooms will be solely for self-contained classes. Others asked to what degree trees would have to be cut, to make room for the additions to the buildings. The architect said that a few trees would have to be uprooted, but would be replanted.
All seven members of the school board voted to approve the design plan for the high school. When the design drawings are completed in the next few weeks, Turner Construction will develop and provide the board of education with cost estimates. Once this step is completed, which could take approximately two months, according to a district administrator, the school board will review the final plans and the costs, particularly any that exceed the budget. After modifications are made, the plan will be submitted to the State Education Department for approval.
(Other topics discussed at the 9/4 school board meeting are covered in separate articles.)