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Sunday, January 25, 2015
Schools
Bellmore-Merrick Central District’s $49.89 million bond vote passes

The Bellmore-Merrick Central District’s $49.89 million bond proposal to renovate the district’s five schools passed a public referendum on Monday with 56 percent of the vote, according to district officials.

The final tally was 3,441 yes votes to 2,717 no votes. The Central District comprises Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools and Calhoun, Kennedy and Mepham high schools.

Susan Schwartz of Merrick, the Central District Board of Education president, said, “We are very, very pleased. The community really supported” the bond. “We can do a lot of good things.”

Schwartz had high praise for Bellmore-Merrick’s new superintendent, John DeTommaso, who, with the board, proposed the bond only weeks after assuming the superintendent’s post last summer. “We started off on the right foot with John DeTommaso,” Schwartz said, “and he’s just taking our district to new heights.

“Bellmore-Merrick has always had a good education,” Schwartz continued, “and now we’re doing everything we can to enhance it and make it that much better.”

Schwartz said the Board of Education will meet with the district’s architects at this Wednesday’s board meeting to discuss the next steps in Bellmore-Merrick’s capital plan. All renovation blueprints will require approval by the state Department of Education.

A little more than half of the bond amount — $26.89 million — will be returned to the school district in state building aid, which Bellmore-Merrick will receive over the bond’s 15-year life.

The bond will cost local taxpayers $104 per year, or $8.67 per month. Work will likely begin next summer, if all goes as planned, and most of the renovations will be done over the next three summers.

The bond proposal, prepared by BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers of Patchogue, includes $6.5 million for new artificial-turf athletic fields, $6 million for new bathrooms and $5 million for new science laboratories at all five schools, as well as monies for renovated music, art, faculty and guidance rooms, refinished gym floors, kitchen ceiling and lighting replacement, removal of vinyl asbestos titles, masonry work, new doors where needed, and air-conditioning units in all classrooms and auditoriums.

Comments

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CConLI

Yeah more taxes....3441 people that can't complain.

56 percent of the community hardly equals "really supported".

Monday, December 2, 2013 | Report this
gborell

Most of us with young children moved here because of the school systems. Our children deserve to have functioning bathrooms, water fountains, labs, etc. Yes, we pay very high taxes and these things should be done, but they are not. So for the extra $100 per year it will cost to have our children in schools that function properly...I am willing to spend it. I am sorry for all those that do not agree. I am sure if you had children in the schools and saw the conditions, you would totally agree.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Report this
brewerfever78

Unfortunately the people opposed to this vote never really effectively organized to get the word out. Only $17 million of the $49 was for interior improvements. We do not need turf athletic fields. We do not need AC in all classrooms. These two items accounted for nearly half of the project.

The information sent by the school board said these updates would save $2 million a year in operating costs. Where will we see that savings?? Answer: No where, they will find another place to spend it.

As a disclaimer, I have two young children which eventually enter the school system. So, they will see the benefits of these updates. However, as a taxpayer and citizen, I feel we have the right to look out for our children who probably will not be able to live and afford to raise their families in this area 25-30 years from now.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Report this
Fedup1

Yes, I am sick of sending other peoples kids to school. At retirement we should not have to anymore, I pay over $16,000 in school taxes alone. Now we have to sell in order to retire comfortably. Why wasnt the work done using the enormous tax revenue this school district received over the years? And, no we don't need astro turf.

I question the validity of this election. When we went to vote, no one asked for identification from me. When I asked why, the comment back was, do you want me to look at your drivers license? I asked how they knew I was who i said I was and the answer was, because he said so (pointing to my husband). In addition, I could have gone to every voting station and voted again and again and again. There were no controls that I could see to make sure that one person did not cast multiple votes. So is the public supposed to believe in this tally of votes? I think some serious investigating should be done and now. Are you the school districts "boys" or are you for the residents of this town?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Report this
Yampa95

If your paying 16,000 a year in school taxes you may want to look into it. Seems a little high for Bellmore/merrick

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Report this
realist0526

if you do not like paying school taxes then long island is not for you ...you can make the choice to move...or you can pay the taxes...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Report this
gborell

I pay over 18k and if I didnt have kids in the schools I would not be living here. I am paying what I am paying for a good education and cleaning working facilities...including the fields..2 of my sons play sports and the fields are disgusting. Another town refused to have their football game at MAMS because of how bad the field is. Is that fair to our children. And if you voted no and have children that will be attenting the schools one day...you will be happy that bond passed after seeing what your children will be in

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Report this
CConLI

The one thing we learned from this vote is everyone wants what the other one has. We all have to have a turf fields. Five in one district is outrageous. While we "teach" our children how voting works...( my favorite Thanksgiving food ) we also teach them that we can't share.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Report this
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