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Wrecking Ball And A Bond

The gradual dissolution of St. Paul’s School continues as the Garden City Board of Trustees unanimously approved bond resolutions for the demolition of Ellis Hall and the renovation of Garden City Fire Department Headquarters at a cost of $750,000 and $900,000, respectively, at its March 20 meeting.

Ellis Hall was completed in 1969 to provide additional classrooms, science labs and a library for St. Paul’s School. In December 2013, trustees agreed to solicit competitive bids for its remediation and deconstruction in order to execute an inter-municipal agreement with Nassau County to receive $300,000 under the county’s 2006 Environmental Bond Act.

The funds will be earmarked for environmental clean-up, including asbestos removal inside the building.

The project, put out to bid several years ago, was originally estimated at $450,000. Garden City village auditor James Olivo said the “significant margin” is advisable when dealing with unknown conditions inside the building. “If you have a limit set too low you would have to re-adopt the original bond resolution,” he said. “Given the environmental issues with that building I think it’s wise to be on the safe side, knowing we’re only going to spend what we’ve been authorized by the board to spend.”

A similar situation exists with the renovation project for Garden City Fire Department Headquarters on Stewart Avenue though the limit is not nearly as high because officials have a much better handle on internal conditions. The building, which also houses Garden City Village Hall, was erected in 1953 and has not undergone any major renovations since its original construction.

Physical improvements of the building are on the agenda, including refurbishment of meeting rooms, storage areas and second floor bathrooms; reconfiguration of first floor offices to make way for training rooms and classrooms; and the installation of new heating and cooling equipment and LED lighting. Renovations to the kitchen will include new sanitary walls, ceiling panels and shelving and the reconfiguration of existing appliances.

Bathroom upgrades will require asbestos abatement.

The village could roll both projects, along with others coming down the pike for the Golf Club Lane senior center renovation project and some possible roadwork, into one bond resolution, Mr. Olivo said.