Friday, 21 August 2009 00:00
The Garden City Board of Education voted unanimously to hold a public referendum Tuesday, Oct. 27. On the ballot: approval to undertake $36.5 million in renovations to meet basic safety and code requirements, as well as reclaim learning space for academic program growth.
The Facilities Committee, a 12-person decision-making body that included nominees from all Garden City property owners associations as well as PTA and SEPTA members, developed the referendum proposal and presented it to the board earlier this year. The committee reviewed architect and engineer reports and toured the buildings before recommending the final list of projects.
“This cost-effective, conservative plan is directed toward addressing safety issues and meeting laws, regulations and code requirements,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Feirsen said. “These items must be addressed. And we will realize the best return on our investment by doing them now while rates are low and construction firms are eager for work.”
The school investment bond calls for recovering learning space and decreasing instruction-time interruptions by reconfiguring areas within several of the schools.
“For example, increasing demands for special needs services have put stress on existing facilities, causing us to look in every nook and cranny to serve these students,” Dr. Feirsen said.
Board of Education President Colleen Foley added: “To uphold our tradition of excellence, we must provide our students with a 21st-century learning environment. We want to maintain small class size, grow our academic programs, provide our students with broader experiences and compete with other school districts on Long Island and throughout the country.”
To serve the community, the Garden City PTA will host a meeting with school district officials to discuss the bond and answer questions about planned projects and financing. The meeting will be held at Garden City High School Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7:30 p.m. In addition, details about the planned list of projects and voting information will be mailed to the community. Referendum updates will be posted to the district website regularly.