Local politicians allocate grants to North Merrick schools

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Last week, the district also received a letter from Fuschillo’s office notifying it that $30,000 of state grant money had been approved for security upgrades at Camp Avenue, Fayette and Old Mill Road. District Facilities Director James Saitta said that the money would fund the replacement of black-and-white video cameras at school entrances with higher-quality color cameras, upgrades that will give district officials centralized access to the camera feeds from all three schools, and the wiring of additional doors at Camp Avenue and Old Mill Road for electronic “buzzer” unlocking.

Saitta said that he hopes to see these projects completed by September, and that if enough of the $30,000 is left over, he would propose the implementation of a swipe-card door-access system for building staff.

Fuschillo spokesman Christopher Schneider said that the senator “was very happy he was able to provide” the funding.

Saitta will also oversee a number of physical improvements outside Fayette that will be funded by $25,000 Gonsalves secured from the county’s Community Revitalization Program for the school. Elizabeth Fries, a legislative assistant to Gonsalves, wrote in an email that the grant was distributed via an “Inter-Municipal Agreement” that was “processed and approved by the Nassau County Legislature.” Fayette is the only school in the North Merrick District that is within Gonsalves’s electoral district.

Saitta said that the district would use the money Gonsalves allocated to create a paved seating area near Fayette’s flagpole, with decorative benches and trash cans. Contractors selected through a bidding process would undertake some of this work, he said. If there is money left over, the district may use it to illuminate the flagpole, replace outdoor basketball hoops or for other projects.

At last week’s board meeting, Fayette Principal Howard Merims credited the school’s PTA for contacting Gonsalves to request the CRP grant.

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