The following letter was posted on the Rockville Centre School District website on Jan. 11. The last meeting on the bond will be held Jan. 22. The preliminary school improvement bond was set at $48 million at the Jan. 15 meeting:
Thank you to all community members, parents and students who joined us along with our school administrators and architects on January 8 as we discussed plans for renovations to South Side High School. We’re working to finalize the list of projects throughout the district to be funded by the School Improvement Bond.
We made good progress last Tuesday night but we have more to do. Please attend the Jan. 15 meeting where we’ll decide which middle school, elementary and district-wide projects will be included in the bond. If you can’t come next Tuesday, we’ll be meeting again on Jan. 22 to finalize the list and set the amount of the bond — just in time for the March 19 vote. We want to hear from you. These are your schools and they need your support.
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 portables, originally intended to be temporary solutions, have been in service for more than 30 years. They’ve outlived their usefulness and have assuredly seen better days. Because students and teachers must travel to and from these trailers, doors in the main building remain unlocked. By bringing the classroom space inside, we are able to lock the building, dramatically tightening security.
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.
As it stands now, the high school portion of the bond will include the replacement of existing grass fields with synthetic turf inside the running track, on the softball field and on the practice field in back of the building. 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.
The arts are not neglected in the plans. Envisioned auditorium upgrades include new lighting, sound and stage systems, as well as safe access to the lighting and sound booths at the rear of the theater.
Video of past meetings can be found by visiting www.rvcschools.org or on the School Channel, Cablevision channel 19 within the Village of Rockville Centre and on Verizon channel 36. And as we mentioned earlier, our discussion continues at two more meetings in January — on the 15th and the 22nd. Please let your views be known: you can post to this blog, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come to our meetings. All meetings are held at the South Side High School at 7:30 p.m.
These are your schools and they need your support.