Rendering of the new Sewanhaka Central High School.

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

The Sewanhaka Central High School District Board of Education will hold a Dec. 4 bond referendum on a plan to spend nearly $100 million to upgrade seven aging school buildings and several sporting fields.

At a special meeting Tuesday night, the board voted 6-0 to approve the referendum, which would authorize the district to issue as much as $99.51 million of debt to fund the projects. About 40 percent of the debt will be paid by state building aid, school officials said. Board president David Fowler and trustee Joan Romagnoli were absent for the vote.

If approved, the funds would be used to renovate all five district high school buildings, additions at Floral Park Memorial High School, Elmont Memorial High School, and Sewanhaka High School, and athletic facility upgrades at all schools and the Alva T. Stanforth Sports Complex. The average tax increase for homeowners in the district would be $144.26 per year, officials said.

"It's really important to emphasize that although we are meeting most of the needs in terms of the renovations and additions, one of the key components is to address health and safety issues," district Superintendent Ralph Ferrie said at the meeting.

The proposal calls for new cafeterias, auditoriums, gyms and weight rooms.

An ad hoc committee on facilities, created in October 2012, reviewed the district's facilities and presented the initial proposal to the board in June to spend between $92.65 million and $102.15 million.

The new proposal found that Sewanhaka High School -- built in 1929 -- needs $31.27 million in upgrades. Floral Park Memorial High School (1956) needs $20.81 million in upgrades.

The New Hyde Park Memorial High School (1955) needs $14.38 million. Elmont Memorial High School (1955) needs $15.84 million in repairs. H. Frank Carey High School (1955) needs $14.98 million in upgrades, according to the proposal.

The proposal also calls for refurbishing the ATS Sports Complex, next to the Elmont Public Library, with three soccer fields and two baseball fields that would cost $1.55 million. Two vocational buildings, one built in 1941 and the other in 1959, would also need to be renovated, for $694,480.

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