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Deer Park's school administrators to make the case for $17 million bond referendum

The Deer Park School District will hold a

The Deer Park School District will hold a bond referendum for $17 million in school improvements, including some for Robert Frost Middle School, pictured in an undated photo. Credit: Alexi Knock, 2011

The Deer Park School District will hold a bond referendum for $17 million in school improvements next month, with the administration making its case at Tuesday's 8 p.m. school board meeting.

More than half the money would go toward roof replacements at five of the district's six buildings, according to a document on the district's website, with smaller amounts going toward grounds and entryway enhancements and the construction of security vestibules at each school.

The improvements would bring the buildings into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, according to the district.

Big-ticket items include a $1.4 million artificial turf field for Deer Park High School and $1.9 million for science labs at Robert Frost Middle School.

School taxes would not increase with the passage of the bond referendum, according to the district, because of the retirement of existing debt. New York State Building Aid would return approximately 62 percent of the bond's cost, officials said.

If approved, work would likely begin next summer and continue for two to three years, according to the district, pending approval by the state Education Department.

Assistant Superintendent Marguerite Jimenez, who is leading the bond referendum effort, referred a request for an interview to another spokeswoman, Deirdre Gilligan, who declined.

Deer Park schools served 4,154 students and had a graduation rate of 91 percent for the 2013-2014 school year, according to the latest data available on the state education department website. The state rate was 76 percent.

Deer Park's budget is $107.3 million with school taxes of $10,069 on the average home, a 2.62 percent increase from last year.

Residents can vote on the referendum 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 20 at the high school.

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