If the bond is approved, Tremont elementary school is among...

If the bond is approved, Tremont elementary school is among district schools that would receive upgrades. Credit: James Carbone

The Patchogue-Medford school board has scheduled a public information meeting Thursday  to discuss a $45 million bond vote.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at Saxton Middle School.

The district plans to upgrade air-ventilation systems, including the installation of air conditioning, at district schools. Saxton Middle School is located at 121 Saxton St., Patchogue.

A message posted on the district website said the upgrades are needed to improve the learning environment and to respond to requests from community members to improve air quality in classrooms.

District officials said part of the cost will be funded with $5.8 million from the federal American Rescue Plan, and the district expects state aid to cover about 73% of the costs.

If the bond is approved, the average home assessed at $3,000 would pay an additional $23 monthly, before state building aid is taken into account, a brochure published by the school district said. The post-aid tax impact was not available Tuesday.

In a letter to the community posted on the district website, school board president Kelli Anne Jennings said officials studied air-quality issues “as an outgrowth of the COVID pandemic, climate change, and securing our buildings."

“It is of utmost importance to the board of education and district that we provide an environment for our students that is beneficial for their learning, health and overall well-being,” Jennings wrote.

Superintendent Donna Jones did not return a call for comment.

Among the schools that would receive upgrades are the Tremont and River elementary schools, which a district study found “are in the greatest need of replacement,” the brochure said.

ARP funds must be spent by Sept. 30, 2024, the school district brochure said.

The bond vote is scheduled for 7 a.m.-9 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the South Ocean and Saxton middle schools, and Medford, Tremont and Eagle elementary schools.

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