School committee to pitch 5-year plan for facilites
Northport-East Northport school district’s Athletic Citizens Advisory Committee is exploring turf fields and other upgrades to school facilities.
The group plans to present formal recommendations to the school board in coming weeks, according to Trustee Regina Pisacani, who spearheaded the creation of the group.
Pisacani delivered an update at the Sept. 24 school board meeting, and said that the committee had made much progress over the summer. She said members of the group had toured nearly every building in the district, and had been able to create a list of all the improvements they deemed necessary.
“We were joined by Anthony Resca, superintendent of [buildings] and grounds, and Bernard Krueger, [supervisor] of buildings and grounds, who were able to add their insight and answer all the questions we had,” Pisacani said in a phone interview.
The committee also looked different options to add to the district, likes synthetic turf and natural turf, sod repairs and more. The group also reached out the coaches within the district to get their input.
“No one knows the athletes and what they need better than the coaches,” Pisacani said. “Many coaches in the district feel that Northport athletes are not offered a level playing field compared to other schools right now because of the state of the facilities at Northport.”
The committee has also met with Ed Parrish, a civil engineer for Huntington Town. “We wanted to hear the community feedback that he’s received for the jobs he’s done,” Pisacani said.
SPRINTURF and LANDTECH also spoke with the committee to give their insight on how their businesses would work with the district, according to Piscani.
And finally, the committee also toured other school districts, to see their athletic facilities and the upgrades they’ve made that worked out well for their schools.
Pisacani said they viewed fields at Bethpage school district and Manhasset school district. At Manhasset they were able to tour with Jim Amen, Manhasset’s director of physical education and athletics, who also answered many questions they had.
The committee is currently discussing recommendations to present to the board. Each school has its own list of needs. Pisacani said committee members still need to tally up the monetary value of their recommendations.
“After we put costs to everything, we will present the board with our recommended five-year plan,” Pisacani said. “Then it is up to the will of the board to decide if they want to go forward.”
Although the committee expects to deliver recommendations to the board in December, Pisacani is hopeful they will be able to present much sooner than then.
The Northport-East Northport school district’s Athletic Citizens Advisory Committee was born out of a number of parents who urged school board members to consider funding upgrades to the district facilities in the school’s budget back in January. Twenty-seven parents emailed the school board saying that the current state of the schools facilities were “embarrassing” and could be a “safety hazard.”
The school board approved the formation of the committee in March, made up of 15 district residents and spearheaded by Pisacani. Aside from inspections and evaluations of the athletic facilities in the district, the committee was also charged with determining the costs of their recommended repairs and analyzing outside funding opportunities to pay for the upgrades.