Board of Ed Adopts Bond Resolution; Vote Set for March 8

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At the Jan. 13 meeting of the Board of Education, the Board supported a resolution to hold a public vote on Tuesday, March 8 to improve and expand district facilities through a bond.

The process began in early 2014 with a demographic, enrollment and facilities study by Western Suffolk BOCES and the district’s architect. Studies showed that student enrollment in the district is projected to increase over the next 10 years. While other districts on Long Island are seeing a decrease in enrollment, Amityville is one of the few where enrollment is projected to increase.

“This presents an enormous challenge to our district,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Kelly. “Northwest and Northeast elementary schools and Amityville High School are already at full student occupancy. Students are being educated in spaces inappropriate for learning, such as on stages and in converted closets. The district cannot properly accommodate its current population of students, let alone a growing population.”

“Our district has made great efforts over the past several years to increase academic rigor for our students,” added Board of Education President Ronald Moss. “We have increased the number of Advanced Placement courses offered to our children, increased our use of technology and continue to focus on STEM initiatives. Updating our facilities to accommodate 21st-century learning is just one part of improving our district for the children of Amityville.”

To study the district’s facility needs, the district formed a community committee, comprised of community residents and administrators. The committee met throughout the summer and fall and ultimately presented its recommendations to the Board of Education in mid-November.

The proposed bond includes a number of infrastructural improvements to buildings throughout the district that have met or exceeded their life span, such as HVAC systems, masonry and windows.

The plan also calls for building expansions at both Northwest Elementary School and Amityville High School to accommodate current and future enrollment needs.

“The proposal would allow us to restructure the grade levels within our schools and convert Northeast Elementary School to a full-day prekindergarten center for the community,” said Dr. Kelly. “It would also allow us to move the ninth grade back to Amityville High School, a huge benefit to students and the entire Amityville community.”

The total cost of the bond proposition is approximately $69.9 million; however, the district would receive 55.7 percent of the project’s total cost through New York State building aid.

While individual assessments may vary, for the average homeowner in the Town of Babylon, the project will cost approximately $242.62 a year or approximately $20.22 a month. For the average homeowner in the Town of Oyster Bay, the project will cost approximately $223.70 per year, or $18.64 per month.

The bond vote is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8 from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. at Northeast Elementary School and Amityville High School. Over the course of the next two months, the district will host a community forum and a series of building tours for interested community members. Dates and times will be publicized shortly.

“We look forward to meeting with community residents so that they can become informed about our current facility challenges and how the proposed plan addresses these needs,” Dr. Kelly said.

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