The Glen Cove City School District will be moving forward with a proposal for a health, safety and repair bond for 2019. The bond will provide approximately $84.6 million in funding over a four-year span for a wide array of renovations and improvements to each of the district’s six schools if residents approve of it at a referendum vote on March 12.
Each of the many renovations will fall into one of three proposed bond projects: health and safety, security and education and community. Health and safety renovations include improvements to heating, ventilation and air conditioning and school facilities such as restrooms and kitchens. Security improvements will make doors and windows more capable of defending students and faculty should they come under threat. Education and community improvements will go towards upgrades of various types of classrooms, athletic fields, ceilings and lighting.
According to Superintendent Dr. Maria Rianna, the magnitude of this process is the greatest she has seen since joining the Glen Cove School District. In terms of whether it is the most comprehensive project in the district’s history, she said, “I don’t know if it was ever done in Glen Cove.”
Plans for the improvements began when Rianna and the Board of Education toured each of the buildings to see what renovations were needed. “They realized a lot of things that were proposed in the past [by past boards] had not been passed,” Rianna explained. “They also realized there were a number of emergency situations we needed to attend to.”
The scope of the renovations was so great that they could not possibly fit the costs into a budget. A bond would be needed. School officials formed a bond committee made up of the Board of Education, school administrators, one volunteer parent representative from each school, one teacher representative from each school chosen by the teachers union and architects and engineers hired by the district. Each member of the committee reviewed the necessary improvements, and they ultimately came up with a bond resolution, which was passed on Dec. 12.
Rianna and Michael Mark, the architect hired by the district to work on the renovations, shared the proposed improvements at a meeting of the city’s InterAgency Council at Glen Cove High School on Jan. 9.
While each school will be undergoing HVAC improvements, they will all have projects unique to their individual needs.
Mark and his firm, Mark Design Studios, have worked with public school districts for almost 20 years. “All projects planned for the Glen Cove City School District are of similar size and scale to the projects that our firm has done in the past,” he said.
Work at Landing, Deasy and Connolly Elementary schools will take the longest to complete because Mark said the work is complex, and involves multiple prime contractors.
Certain renovations would have to take priority. “Projects related to the health and safety of the building occupants, as well as projects related to building code compliance will be the top priority,” he said.
The next step is to distribute information to the public. All Glen Cove residents will receive a bond voter guide in the mail, and all information regarding the bond is available on the district’s website. Public tours of the buildings will be held on specific days throughout January and February. Residents will be able to ask the board members questions about the bond at upcoming Board of Educations meetings, as well as during a public bond forum on March 5.