The Rockville Centre Board of Education scheduled the referendum on the proposed school improvement bond for March 19 at its monthly meeting on Dec. 11 at South Side High School.
The board looked into the possibility of having the vote take place in October, but ultimately opted for March because it would allow construction on the schools to begin in the summer of 2014.
Waiting until October would not allow construction to take place over the summer, as there is a 12-month waiting period between the passing of the bond and when actual construction can begin.
In those 12 months, the bond must be approved by the state education department and awarded a bid. A work schedule must also be put together by contractors.
“If we wait until October, the likelihood of us commencing that work in the summer is really and truly compromised,” Superintendent Dr. William H. Johnson said.
“I’m not sure that I could guarantee to the board or the community that were we to pass the bond in October that we would be able to get the major work started in the summer,” Johnson added.
In order to further discuss the content of the bond proposal, the board also added a third January meeting to its schedule on Jan. 15 to go along with its originally scheduled public work session on Jan. 8 and its regular meeting on Jan. 22. The architects working on the proposal will be present at all three January meetings.
The board hopes to have a basic number for the bond by the end of the Jan.15 meeting so that it can edit and clean up the loose ends of the proposal during the Jan. 22 meeting.
Jan. 22 is the latest that work can be finished on the bond because the board is required by law to leave at least a 45-day window of time between finishing work on the bond and then making it public and the actual vote.
“It’s a lot of work in a short period of time,” Johnson said. “There’s an awful lot of work that’s being done.”