First of many school improvement plans submitted for review
The Middle Country school district is ready to move forward with several capital improvement projects for some of its 15 schools but is facing obstacles as state approval for the projects could take 34 weeks.
At the April 1 school board meeting, board President Karen Lessler gave an update on the approximate $125 million bond voters approved last November. Currently, the district is looking at roof repair, resurfacing tracks, security upgrades and more.
“The obstacle that we are currently facing is that the type one projects, which are one-shot projects that are not so complex, are taking eight weeks to get through the [New York State Education Department],” Lessler said.
According to the facilities planning division of the state education department, final engineering review will take about 32 to 34 weeks. There are approximately 930 projects awaiting review. According to Saverio Belfiore, of Melville-based H2M architects + engineers, the district’s engineering firm, roof repairs and track resurfacing projects for the high schools have been submitted to the education department.
A representative from the department did not return a request for comment.
Some of the bonded money will be used to replace 4,000 windows district wide. Many windows have not been replaced in more than 20 years, officials previously stated. Window replacement qualifies as a type one project and will be replaced overnight and throughout the summer, according to Lessler.
Security is another high-priority item for the district. Currently, details are being finalized with building principals for security upgrades to each building. According to Belfiore, upgrades to the secured entry vestibule at the prekindergarten centers, Eugene Auer Elementary, North Coleman Road Elementary and Oxhead Road Elementary have been submitted.
Belfiore said many of the district’s projects are type one and should be approved in the shorter time frame, while the other projects should begin this summer.
Putting the obstacles aside, Lessler said everything is moving along.