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Kellenberg High expansion wins preliminary approval for $10M in bonds

Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale plans a

Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale plans a multimillion dollar expansion. Credit: Nassau County Local Economic Assistance Corp.

Kellenberg Memorial High School is planning a multimillion dollar expansion that includes construction of an activity and athletics center and improvements to science labs on the Uniondale campus, officials said.

The Catholic school for grades 6 through 12 won preliminary approval last week for $10 million in tax-exempt and taxable bonds to be issued by the Nassau County Local Economic Assistance Corp. The corporation assists schools, hospitals and other nonprofits.

Kellenberg principal Brother Kenneth M. Hoagland said the school’s enrollment has increased 86% from 1,400 students at its founding in 1987 to 2,600 today.

“We’re at a point now where we need to expand our facilities to accommodate all the needs of the students,” he said during the corporation’s virtual board meeting.

“We have science labs that we’re totally renovating to create a better STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] center,” he said. “We also need to expand our athletic facilities given the number of students involved in athletics.”

Hoagland said the 28,450-square-foot activity and athletics center would extend the main school building onto an underutilized sports practice field.

The center would accommodate the Kellenberg band and orchestra, which have outgrown their current space, and an art studio, two basketball courts, a weight room, bowling alley, golf simulator and a two-story rock-climbing wall.

Kellenberg will spend $5 million of the bond financing for the new building, $3 million for lab upgrades and $500,000 for elevator improvements, said Hoagland. The work would be completed within three years, he said.

Gregory LiCalzi Jr., a senior vice president at bond underwriter Roosevelt & Cross in Manhattan, said the project will cost more than the $10 million in bonds. He said TD Bank has agreed to purchase the bonds as it did in 2015 when the school bought an 8.2-acre athletic field with $12.5 million in county-issued bonds.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a required public hearing on the bonds and a final vote by the corporation board will be delayed, corporation chairman Richard Kessel said.

Kellenberg, which is named after the founding bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Walter P. Kellenberg, is owned by the religious order Society of Mary. The order also runs Chaminade High School and St. Martin de Porres Marianist School for prekindergarten through eighth grade.

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