Readers Write: Herricks comfort station open only 24 days

Readers Write: Herricks comfort station open only 24 days

I raised the issue of people relieving themselves in the bushes and around the tool sheds due to locked comfort center bathrooms at the Herricks Board meeting on Jan 14, 2021, at the community center.

The administration placed two porta-potties as a temporary solution. Subsequently, I presented a petition with over 50 signatures to open the comfort station bathrooms for students and community members.

They stated that “the comfort station is open for all athletic events and other special events for our students that are held on the athletic field.”

The COVID-19 pandemic afforded me to follow varsity scheduled games for the 2021 calendar year and I personally monitored all the home games played at Herrick’s turf field. Unfortunately, these bathrooms were locked for the majority of the home games except 24 days in a whole year.

Are students expected to go inside the building to relieve themselves which takes about 15 minutes roundtrip from the comfort center or use a portable potty?

Did we invest thousands of dollars in the comfort center for only 24 days? Does it make sense? Certainly not. We invest in students for the students.

I know there is a cost involved. I am sure the board and administration must have budgeted for its maintenance and security when they proposed and approved this comfort center.

I requested and pleaded in person and via email with the Board of Trustees for over a year but to no avail. There are Herricks residents who agree with my assessment but are afraid of repercussions.

Now I am sharing my request with you all and pleading with the Herricks Board of Trustees to re-evaluate their policy and avail comfort center to students as it was built for them.

I also raised the concern about the $340K deficit per external audit findings for FY 2020-2021 by R.S. Abrams & Co., LLP back in November 2021.

I inquired further Jan. 22 and it was stated at a board meeting that this deficit is due to the pandemic cost escalation, overheads, less student participation in lunch program as well as point of sales system purchased in 2015-16 year.

I also noticed an additional $275,000 transferred from the general fund to the school lunch program in the account details received subsequently from the administration.

If $275,000 was not transferred, then the deficit would have been $615,000.

Ravinder Ratra


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