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Sewanhaka school officials may ask voters to reconsider improvement plan

Rendering of the new Sewanhaka Central High School.

Rendering of the new Sewanhaka Central High School. Credit: Handout

Sewanhaka Central High School District officials plan to consider trying again to win funding to repair seven aging school buildings and several sports fields, after voters rejected a $99.51 million bond referendum last year.

The school board is expected to decide at its meeting Tuesday which of five options it would put up for a vote. The board will have until Tuesday night to determine if it would place the bond referendum on the same ballot as the budget proposition on May 20.

"They're looking at a variety of options," said Superintendent Ralph P. Ferrie, whose all-high-school district serves about 8,500 students in Floral Park, Bellerose, New Hyde Park, Garden City Park, Franklin Square and Elmont.

The proposals call for funds to renovate two vocational buildings and five high schools: Sewanhaka, Floral Park Memorial, Elmont Memorial, New Hyde Park Memorial and H. Frank Carey. Upgrades include new cafeterias and auditoriums, air-conditioning in the auditoriums, new heating systems, repaired roofs, improved athletic facilities and better security.

The first option has a price tag of $98.49 million, the second $84.61 million, the third $87.03 million and the fourth $89.58 million. The fifth option includes a proposition for $73.55 million to fund infrastructure improvements and a second proposition for $16.01 million for upgrades to athletic facilities at all schools and at the Alva T. Stanforth Sports Complex. The second proposition cannot pass unless the first on school renovation passes.

The approved projects would be carried out and financed in phases over three to four years. About 47 percent of the debt issued would be paid through state building aid, officials said.

The school board is scheduled to meet at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Sewanhaka High School.

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