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Inside the Numbers: An In-Depth Look at RVC's School Improvement Bond

A look at the major costs in the school district's proposed $45.9 million bond.

The Rockville Centre Board of Education announced Tuesday that it had finalized its proposed school improvement bond at approximately $45.9 million.

The bond will go toward structural improvements and enhancements at each of the five elementary schools, as well as South Side Middle School and High School and the administrative building.

A bulk of the total comes from spatial need improvements at the high school to the tune of $26.3 million.

According to a letter from the board of education, most of the $26.3 million will go to the following changes:

At South Side High School, the main focus is to bring the 12 classrooms currently housed outside in three portable trailers and two converted garages into the building.

... The two-story additions in the plans — one to the north and one to the south side of the building — will provide our students with modern and appropriate-sized instructional and science lab space. The cafeteria will be doubled in size so our kids won’t have to eat lunch in the halls or classrooms. Congestion and safety issues are solved by the redistribution of classroom space within the building.

Other major projects at the secondary level schools include a $570,000 roof replacement at the high school, $875,000 worth of auditorium replacements at the middle school and high school, and $810,000 for mechanical fresh air at both schools and the administrative building.

A grand total of $2.7 million will go to athletic enhancements at the high school, including nearly $1.6 million for a new turf field within the existing track.

Multiple residents have complained about turf additions at recent board meetings and on Patch, but the board has said that turf will see savings in the future:

Turf fields will be able to withstand greater usage in all weather conditions, allowing more of our teams to practice and host games on their home fields. The bond will also fund new bleacher seating on the main field and lighting for the practice field, allowing more practices to take place at the high school, saving on transportation costs and freeing up fields around Rockville Centre for use by village athletic groups. Strict guidelines for use of lights on evenings and weekends, already adopted by the school board, will be in force when the lights are installed.

At the elementary school level, three additional classrooms will be created at Watson due a "population boom" that has left the school strapped for space. The additions will cost $2.7 million.

Covert, Hewitt, Riverside, Watson and Wilson will all receive mechanical fresh air at a cost of $960,000, while air conditioning in the main assembly spaces of all schools but Covert will cost nearly $1.2 million.

Roof replacements at Covert and Watson will add up to $2.1 million and a boiler replacement at Wilson will cost $570,000.

District-wide enhancements include air conditioning for classrooms at a cost of $960,000, air conditioning at 40 additional instructional spaces at $240,000 and security cameras at $200,000.

Dozens of other improvements, from door replacements to table storage, account for the remaining cost estimates.

The vote for the school improvement bond will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on March 19 at the South Side High School gymnasium.

joe thrapp January 24, 2013 at 01:48 PM
It's time to say wait a minute. What are we trying to show the future leaders of America? This bond is like the national debt. A public credit card that never ends as long as people pay "a small monthly increase in taxes". Well small monthly increase lead to a large yearly then generational cost burden on the future of our children. This school bond will cost every RVC family homeowner a debt of 12,000$. That's not much compared to the national debt for every man, woman and child of 52,000$. How much more debt do we have to get our HS from 22nd in the nation to number one? 22 is enough for me. This is a real life case of over reaching to satisfy the few homeowners of our village. Oh, I forgot will this bond issue help our children run faster,throw further or hit the ball, the distance?, no. Vote no, stop the debt madness right now right here in our Village
JudyL January 25, 2013 at 01:22 AM
Actually, it WILL help our children learn better. It's not easy to perform your best when you are stuffed in a classroom with 29 other kids because, other than the utility closet, there's no where to put another classroom. Or when the temperature in your classroom is 90+ degrees. Vote yes and vote to invest in our kids.
bea taylor January 25, 2013 at 07:31 PM
If I read the article correctly (and I am not sure that I am) it will cost 4 million to air condition everything? Can someone shed some light on this?
A. O'Brien January 26, 2013 at 05:08 AM
Dr. Johnson should have listened when residents told him not to demolish Morris School. If Morris School was still standing we wouldn't need to put additions on our elementary schools every few years. Now we are all going to have to pay.
opinion-ated January 28, 2013 at 08:39 PM
More info on "Turf" then Security. Hellllooo???? What changes besides security cameras??
K.A.D January 29, 2013 at 10:35 PM
This is stupid. Why do the public schools need to be improved ? They are fine the way they are now.
Margaret January 31, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Little piece of information I found interesting.... School districts will be getting a substantial amount of state aid if they -lengthen the school year or stagger the school year across 12 months. Hummm, A/C in the schools will allow this to happen. Won't Dr. J look progressive amongst his peers. You know how he loves to use our children and tax dollars to look good. Let's disrupt more of our family time. I'm voting no just to insure that this can't happen. I'd rather have the children uncomfortable for a very small amount of time than going to school during the summer months. No thank you!
RealityCheck January 31, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Amen. VOTE NO. Stop the insanity! Looking at the votes on the 2009 Bond - that $22 million dollar bond lost by a wide margin. Not sure why they think this one will pass - except maybe they just threw in the kitchen sink to try to bribe parents at every single school in the Village. I've got 3 kids in the schools and will still be voting NO NO NO. This is so NOT "about the kids" and if I hear that phrase one more time I will vomit. spread the word - seniors in Florida CAN vote by Absentee Ballot!

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