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Manhasset school district to vote Wednesday on proposal to spend $22.6M on upgrades

Manhasset school district residents will vote Wednesday on whether to authorize $22.6 million to renovate cafeterias, classrooms and athletic facilities.

Voters must approve a $19,959,870 bond for the project, which would also use $2.4 million from a capital reserve fund and a $250,000 gift. If approved, property taxes on the average home assessed at $1.008 million will rise $134 for the year, school officials said.

Enrollment has risen nearly 40 percent from 2000, to 3,366 students from 2,450, say school officials, who note in a flyer posted to the district website that science and fine arts classrooms are "antiquated" and a reconfiguration "will ease overcrowding."

Superintendent Charles Cardillo said that changes are key "with large enrollment that's going to persist over the next several years," he said.

If approved, science classrooms would be renovated and a laboratory will be added.

In addition, music and art rooms will be redone so students have more work space. Plans also call for expanding cafeteria space in the secondary school; renovating a serving line and kitchen at an elementary school; and replacing an acoustic ceiling. Air conditioning will be added to cafeterias.

The district also plans to renovate Memorial Field with a 330-foot sod field and replace four clay tennis courts with full-sized DecoTurf ones.

Arda Haratunian, parent of students in grades 7 and 10, said she supports the proposal. "The bigger issue is the classroom sizes, and in what conditions the kids are being forced to learn," Haratunian said.

But Denise Friscia, who has three children in the secondary school, said "I'd rather see money spent on academics, better teachers, and not brick and mortar."

Voting is from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the high school gym.

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