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Editorial: School bond worth another try

Rendering of the new Sewanhaka Central High School.

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

School buildings on Long Island are aging, and many need repair. But in the property-tax-cap era, funding those fixes is difficult. The Sewanhaka Central High School District, like many of its peers, tried to get it done via a bond referendum, but voters in December rejected a $99.5-million proposal, 53-47 percent.

Sewanhaka is back at the drawing board. That's good. Its seven school buildings still need renovations. If officials pursue another bond vote, they would be wise to prioritize essential repairs -- replacing heating-ventilation systems, repairing roofs and upgrading security -- to trim the bond and reduce what would have been a $144 average annual tax increase.

And they should schedule the referendum for May 20, the day of the school budget vote, to guarantee as many voters as possible weigh in.