By Samuel Glasser
Construction permits for phase one of the Herricks school district’s capital improvement project could be issued before the end of July and applications for phase two have been submitted to the state Education Department, the district’s architect said Thursday night.
Steven P. Walsh of BBS Architecture said in a presentation to the Herricks school board that if the state issues the permits for phase one during the week of July 24, then the projects could be put out for bid by the end of the month.
The first phase of the district’s multi-year capital improvement project involves replacing the turf on the Herricks High School athletic field and replacing 20 to 25 percent of the interior doors and all of the door locks district-wide.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Lisa Rutkoske said the district’s goal is to award contracts by the end of August with construction starting on the athletic field at the beginning of October.
The work will require that the running track be closed until January or February. School board President Brian Hassan said he was concerned about potential “community pushback” since many residents use it outside of school hours.
Walsh said that even as the plans for the first phase were under review by the state Education Department, the phase two projects were filed on June 12. This involves a full renovation of the high school cafeteria and kitchen, a new 1,600-seat grandstand at the High School athletic field along with a new press box, comfort station, sports storage building and new lighting for the running track.
“We are in the queue,” Walsh said of the application. He said he anticipates that the review will be completed by January 2018.
The state says final architectural review now takes an average of 21 to 23 weeks while the review of mechanical, plumbing and electrical plans are still averaging 32 to 34 weeks, Walsh said.
He showed the board conceptual drawings of the new high school cafeteria, where construction is expected to start in summer of 2018.
All of the work is part of a $29.5 million capital improvement plan largely funded by the $25 million bond approved by district voters in December 2016.
In other business, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Christine Finn said that preliminary data show that Herricks Middle School students’ scores on the Regents exams had increased significantly.
Even though the districtwide final numbers won’t be available until October, district Superintendent Fino Celano said it was rewarding to see the improvements in academic standing including the increase in the Regents scores, the number of exams taken and students’ performance on the advanced placement tests.
Celano said 99 percent of the class of 2017 will be attending a two- or four-year college in the fall.
The school board also accepted Finn’s resignation as of Aug. 31 since she has accepted the position of superintendent of the Shelter Island school district.
The board also finalized the tax levy for the 2017-2018 school year of $94.1 million, resulting in an overall tax levy increase of 1.62 percent.