Great Neck, NY – The unofficial votes have been tallied and according to Public Information Specialist of the Great Neck Public Schools District, Colleen Bowler, voters have approved eight new classrooms to be constructed in two schools.
On Tuesday, Dec. 3, qualified residents of the Great Neck Public Schools authorized a proposed $9,749,469 Capital Projects Proposition for the construction of new classrooms at E.M. Baker School and Lakeville School.
There were a total of 759 votes cast, with 560 residents in favor of the additional classrooms, and just under 200 not in favor, according to the unofficial results provided by Bowler.
“We are delighted that voters supported this capital projects proposition,” Great Neck Public Schools District Superintendent Teresa Prendergast said. “Thank you to all our community members who came out to the polls.”
The proposed capital projects focus on the construction of additional classrooms to address space constraints at E.M. Baker School and Lakeville School.
The proposed classrooms will accommodate current and projected future enrollment needs, presented in previous board meetings by Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Stephen Lando, at the two buildings.
According to enrollment projections provided by Lando, E.M. Baker Elementary School will see an increase of roughly 70 students by the 2024-2025 school year.
“The need for these classrooms is not determined by the stunted growth of Lakeville’s enrollment,” Lando said at the school board’s October meeting. “There are certain conditions that lent themselves to a need for renovation.”
Construction at E.M. Baker will consist of a new classroom wing addition to accommodate six new classrooms, plus bathroom additions and renovations, and staircase reconstruction. Additionally, a new elevator and ramp will be installed to stay in accordance with ADA accessibility requirements, and a re-design of the bus loop and parent drop-off area will also be built.
At Lakeville, the two additional classrooms will allow Lakeville to co-locate the math lab, English new language, and occupational therapist support services into smaller, already-built classrooms, which is an upgrade from their locations in the library and a former storage closet.
“Our projections show that if projects are started in May of 2021, the classrooms will be ready for occupancy at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year,” Michael Inserra, project manager of BBS Architects, said.
According to John T. Powell, assistant superintendent of business and finance, the funding for these capital projects will come from a transfer from the district’s retirement contribution reserve and worker’s compensation reserve, with $7,749,469 coming from the worker’s compensation reserve, and $2 million coming from the other reserve.
“I can’t stress enough, that this capital proposition will not increase any resident’s school tax liability,” he said.
By Robert Pelaez
The Island Now