As noted in last week’s issue, the Roslyn Board of Education has awarded bids for the first phase of construction projects under the bond referendum that was approved by Roslyn voters in May 2014. Here are more details on the project. School district officials said that ground will be broken very soon on the new bus maintenance facility, and field work at East Hills School, with extensive interior renovations at East Hills School and additional projects at the Roslyn Middle School slated to be undertaken over the coming summer months.
Erik Kaeyer of the architectural firm KG&D presented a review of Phase One to the board at its Feb. 25 meeting. The awarding of bids follows a very lengthy review process by the State Education Department (SED), which took the better part of a year to scrutinize and approve the district’s plans. SED is responsible for approving all major capital projects in public schools.
Work will begin within weeks on a new bus maintenance facility, which will be adjacent to the existing building used by the district’s buildings and grounds department on PARP Drive, in the rear of Harbor Hill School. The obsolescence and advanced state of disrepair of the existing bus garage in front of the high school has long made this among the most urgent of the projects included in the capital program. When the new facility is completed, the old building can be demolished, making way for a thorough reconfiguration of the traffic pattern and parking at the school.
Renovation and reconfiguration of the East Hills fields, which will address pressing needs for both playing fields and additional parking, will also begin in the spring. Large-scale renovations to the school’s library, classrooms and hallways, encompassing extensive electrical and ventilation system improvements, among other changes, will be undertaken during the summer vacation. All but the library will be ready for occupancy for the opening of school in September; the library is slated for completion later in the fall. Bids were also approved for work to be undertaken at the Roslyn Middle School during the summer, though on a far smaller scale than at East Hills. Projects entail renovation of parking lots and improved drainage, and interior and exterior electrical upgrades.
Over the course of the entire capital program, the district will undertake projects in all five schools. Safety and security measures are a high priority in all five schools.
The board and administration also discussed the financial status of the capital program at the meeting, with a more extensive review planned for an upcoming meeting. This preliminary discussion indicated that the district’s projections of the tax impact of the $41.3 million bond referendum remain on target. A combination of continuing low interest rates, state aid reimbursement, retirement of existing debt, allocation of reserve funds and proceeds from litigation, will combine to enable this comprehensive capital program to be funded with an annual net impact of no more than $60 on the average assessed home in the school district.