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Glen Cove school board taking bond issue to voters

If approved March 12, the funding would go toward the most extensive infrastructure improvements in decades. Some of the school system's facilities date to the early 1900s.

Cabinets in a science lab at Glen Cove

Cabinets in a science lab at Glen Cove High School that are in need of repair, as seen on Friday, are among the upgrades in a wide-ranging bond referendum slated for a March 12 vote. Photo Credit: Danielle Silverman

The Glen Cove Board of Education will ask the city's voters on March 12 to approve a $84 million-plus bond issue that would pay for renovations and upgrades throughout the district's school buildings.

The bond issue, if approved, would fund the most extensive infrastructure improvements in decades, including at some facilities that date from the early 1900s. The district, which serves about 3,800 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, has four elementary schools, a middle school and a high school.

School officials said the needs go beyond simple maintenance and repairs. Photos on the school's website show stained ceilings and peeling floors at the 92-year-old Deasy Elementary School, a large puddle covering the parking lot at Connolly Elementary School, and cracked concrete outside Robert M. Finley Middle School, built in 1911.

"Our staff has done a wonderful job of maintenance and upkeep," Superintendent Maria Rianna said in an interview. "But when things are old as they are, it is beyond maintenance. It is time for renovation and upgrades."

The district expects to receive about 33 percent of the bond issue's total in building aid from the state and about $425,000 in state grant funds.

With that aid taken into account, school officials estimate the cost to the homeowner with an average property value of $500,000, over the 15-year life of the bond, would be $36.53 per month.

During the 2017-18 school year, the school board and administration analyzed each facility to prioritize the work needed.

The projects would include construction of some additions to buildings, as well as enhanced and/or new spaces, including for the teaching of science, music and art. The high school cafeteria and kitchen would be renovated, and the middle school auditorium improved. The work also would address security and fire alarm systems, as well as heating, plumbing, ventilation, air conditioning and other mechanical and electrical systems.

In addition, the bond issue would fund replacement of windows, roofs, doors, floors and ceilings, and several parking, driveway, sidewalk, curb and drainage improvements.

Recreational and athletic improvements would include the construction of new and/or enhanced playing fields, tennis courts, tracks and bleachers and the installation of field lighting at the high school.

"We need to do everything possible to improve the overall educational environment and opportunities for our students as we go into the future,” school board President Gail Nedbor-Gross said. The board voted 6-0 in December, with one trustee absent, to authorize the bond referendum, officials said.

Before the March vote, the district will host tours of the schools and hold a public forum.

"We want to maximize our state aid, and in doing so a lot of these projects have been grouped together so we can get state aid, which we may not get if they are emergency fixes or stand-alone projects," Rianna said.

Other Long Island school districts have held recent bond votes for wide-ranging upgrades. In May, voters in the Westbury district approved a referendum of more than $58.5 million to fund the expansion of the middle school and high school. And in March, Uniondale voters passed a $158 million bond referendum for improvements and upgrades to fund new classrooms, infrastructure and technology upgrades.

Highlights of work under proposed bond issue

Deasy Elementary School (built 1927) 

  • Security improvements
  • Four-room addition

Landing Elementary School (built 1932)

  • Addition of four classrooms
  • Partial roof replacements

Connolly Elementary School (built 1955)

  • Cafeteria, art and music addition
  • Drainage improvements

Gribbin Elementary School (built 1966)

  • Elevator addition
  • New second-floor restrooms

Robert M. Finley Middle School (built 1911)

  • Student research center renovation
  • Masonry work

Glen Cove High School (built 1962)

  • Athletic field and press box improvements
  • Classroom and cafeteria renovation


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