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Farmingdale district residents to vote on $36M sports complex

A rendering of the proposed sports complex at

A rendering of the proposed sports complex at Weldon E. Howitt Middle School with an aquatic center with competitive and community pools, plus fields and lights for night games. Photo Credit: Farmingdale School District

Residents of the Farmingdale school district will be asked Tuesday to consider a $36 million bond that would create Long Island’s first community-focused public school sports complex and aquatic center.

The proposed complex at Weldon E. Howitt Middle School would include competitive and community pools, a competitive track for home events, new synthetic turf for baseball and softball fields, new synthetic turf for the football/soccer/lacrosse field and stadium lighting for night games and events.

According to the district, taxes directly related to district debt service will be reduced even if the bond is approved.

Taxes related directly to district debt service will be reduced by $71 per year from current levels for the average Farmingdale homeowner, school officials said. The proposed savings is based on the project’s timing.

“Careful financial planning has enabled the district to dramatically improve facilities for our students with minimal impact on the tax levy,” Farmingdale schools Superintendent John Lorentz said in a statement. “This philosophy enables the district to both save taxpayers money and construct new state-of-the-art facilities that will provide unprecedented opportunity for our students and our community.”

Assistant Superintendent for Business Paul Defendini explained that effective management of the district’s debt service schedule — coupled with savings from previous programs — has created a window for the district to fund this project while still saving taxpayers money.

“By phasing in a new debt schedule with the decline in an old debt schedule, the district will be able to pursue the bond referendum on this project in the fall of 2016,” Defendini said. “We’re excited to take this step into the future and provide our students with the best opportunities to reach their fullest potentials.”

According to the school district, the debt on the proposed project will not be incurred until the 2021-22 school year when the district will retire a larger debt.

In addition, the district has also planned to partner with the Village of Farmingdale to help revitalize the Farmingdale downtown area — specifically the area adjacent to Conklin Street, officials said.

Residents can vote on the 2016 proposed bond between 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Weldon E. Howitt Middle School East gymnasium, 70 Van Cott Ave.


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