Kings Park residents approved a multimillion-dollar school district bond issue this week that will fund significant infrastructure improvements at all six of the district’s buildings, officials said.
Residents approved a $41.4 million capital project bond referendum Tuesday by a vote of 1,331 to 499, the Kings Park Central School District reported.
“This bond is exactly what our facilities and grounds need to rebuild a foundation of pride in Kings Park,” Superintendent Timothy Eagen said in a statement. “I am very thankful that the community has been so supportive of this project. Our infrastructure is in desperate need of updating.”
School board president Pam DeFord said in the statement: “It was wonderful to have the community support the work of the committee.”
School officials had formed a facilities committee comprised of district staff, community and school board members, which started meeting last June to determine what improvements were needed. The committee then reported its findings to the school board in August.
Eagen, in an interview Thursday, said working with residents was crucial to gaining community support.
“We were really fortunate that some key community members came forward and wanted to be part of the project in the beginning.” He said it ended up being a “balanced committee” of eight community residents and eight district officials.
The bond issue is to finance what officials have said are much-needed improvements to the district’s aging buildings. Some of the higher-cost plans include $15.5 million for roof and boiler replacements, locker room improvements, and the creation of a library media center at Kings Park High School.
Other plans include spending $14.3 million for roof, boiler and window replacement, improvements to locker rooms and the music room, and upgrades to classroom ventilation at William T. Rogers Middle School. Additional infrastructure improvements at other schools include upgrades to bathroom facilities, asphalt playground and classroom ventilation updates.
A list of projects can be found on the district’s website: www.kpcsd.k12.ny.us.
Eagen said officials hope to begin work this summer, but that is dependent on getting the necessary state education department permit approvals, which he said could take eight to 12 weeks, if not longer. He added that most of the work the district needs to do must occur in the summer, when school is not in session.
“We have a meeting on Monday to start planning to see what really urgent projects we think we can potentially get through the state education department process,” he said. “We have a short window to try to get stuff approved.”