Summer school work to bleed into fall

Julie Fishbach

Projects to improve the infrastructure of the Roslyn School District’s five campuses slated to begin later this month may not be completed until after the school year begins in September, officials said Monday.

KG&D architects Erik Kaeyer and Russell Davidson said classroom door and other hardware renovations would begin during the summer and be completed by October, while the removal of an abandoned rifle range and asbestos-laden pipes in the basement of East Hills Elementary School and the repaving of the Roslyn High School track should be finished by early September.

Fire alarm systems and interior and exterior security cameras at each of the school buildings will also be enhanced as part of the summer work, while general construction projects include the replacement of fencing throughout the district and of 360 classroom doors to improve emergency lockdown capabilities. 

Though trustees questioned student safety while workers finish projects that extend into the school year, Davidson said workers would be required to wear identification badges and would be prohibited from interacting with students.

Officials said the track, now nearly a decade old, would take a month to fix because of the severity of the depressions in the pavement. 

Though the project would require a plastic covering to be placed over the track, trustees have questioned whether residents would be kept off the track during construction. 

“The issue will be getting the community off the track and the weather,” Roslyn Superintendent of Schools Dan Brenner said, referring to the frequency of rainfall in August.

Trustee Clifford Saffron said he was concerned the track’s construction would interfere with early-season football practices, but Brenner said the team could use other fields on the high school’s campus and would not play home games until well into the season.

The projects will be financed with $4.5 million from the district’s capital reserve. 

Officials said approved bids on construction total $2,626,408, while hardware and material bids have come back at $1.6 million.

Roslyn Assistant Superintendent for Business Joseph Dragone said the summer projects are not part of the $41.5 million capital bond that voters approved in May.

Kaeyer and Davidson said that during the board’s next three meetings – tentatively scheduled to take place Aug. 12, Aug. 25 and Sept. 4 – they will outline project designs and the construction timeline for projects included in the capital bond.   

Renovations, Davidson said, will likely occur in two phases, with the first including the demolition of the Roslyn High School bus garage and projects at Roslyn Middle School and East Hills Elementary School.

Projects at Harbor Hill and Heights elementary schools and Roslyn High School, he said, would be more complicated to complete and are set as part of the second wave of work, tentatively set for completion by 2017.

“In September of ‘17 we will be buying a lot of ribbon to cut,” Dragone said. 

In other developments:

As part of the district’s reorganization meeting, Saffron and Board of Education President Meryl Waxman Ben-Levy were sworn in as trustees for new three-year terms. 

Both longtime incumbents were re-elected to their positions in May.

Ben-Levy and Saffron were also each reappointed as the board’s president and vice president, respectively. They were first appointed to their roles on the board in 2009.

“This has become a great passion of mine,” Ben-Levy said as she thanked her fellow board members. “I couldn’t find a greater group of people to work with than those at this table. I feel lucky to be part of this.” 

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Julie Fishbach

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