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October 12 Date Set for New Hyde Park Vote on Capital Projects

At the last New Hyde Park/Garden City Park School Board meeting, the board presented an outline of what is proposed in the $8.5 million capital projects plan, from monies in the capital reserve fund built up by the district over the years, and not to cost district taxpayers any monies, to be voted on by residents on Oct. 12 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Manor Oaks School, 1950 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park.

Superintendent Robert Katulak then presented the proposed plan identified by the architect and the building principals as necessary for the maintenance of the buildings and to address problematic needs.  He then explained the difference between maintenance and problematic needs.

Katulak said, “One of the things that is noted, for this building, for instance, the Manor Oaks School, the bathrooms are the original bathrooms. That is a maintenance problem and that will be listed as Priority A.  

“A problematic need would be to remove a wall and extend, for instance, a computer lab or a library, to allow more computers to be installed. All of these items will be listed on the ballot as Proposition 1. “Proposition 2 will give the district authorization for a new capitol reserve for future projects and for the possibility of paying down any bond debts. Why are we doing this now? The first thing is to look at the number of items that you, as taxpayers during the preparation of the budget, have complained that are needed in all four of our buildings. Further, we want to make sure we have an additional revenue stream, so that down the road we don’t have to float a bond or charge you more taxes.’’

Katulak added, “We also know that our contractors are hungry for work and their rates are far more economical.  In addition, this will be revenue-producing effect, because we have already saved so there is no additional tax to our taxpayer base.  However, we will be getting money back, from the state, in building aid in the course of a 15-year period.  So it is a win-win for the district.  We get to do our renovations and address problematic needs and we get to have revenue coming in all the while taking care of what is necessary without putting it into our regular budget that would increase taxes. The fund that we have in that reserve cannot be touched by either the administration or by the board of education unless we have your permission and that is what the vote is for on Oct. 12.”

Katulak further emphasized that there would be no increase in taxes, since the money is already there. He also said that the district is doing all of this to become more preventive than interventive.

A complete list of all the items on the A, B, and C priority list may be picked up at the main office at the Manor Oaks School, 1950 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park.

Superintendent Katulak also said that he would be giving Capital Projects Presentations at the next school board meeting on Sept. 13 as well as PTA meetings on Sept. 14, two on the 16, followed by a 7:30 p.m public hearing on Sept. 20, as well as Sept. 21, Sept. 29 and again at the school board meeting on Oct. 4, just prior to the Oct. 12 vote so that the entire community will be thoroughly informed as to just what is contained in the Capital Project for all of the schools in the district.

School board trustee Patricia Rudd asked superintendent Katulak what monies would be received now that the New York State budget has been passed.

Katulak said, “We will probably get some money, but unfortunately we are not allowed to give anything back to the taxpayers, but we will have to use it to restore positions or pay for new positions and if we do anything it will probably be for academic intervention services and it will only be for one year.  If we did hire anyone we would have to make it clear to that person that the position would only be for one year.  Actually, we don’t have any real information, nor does any other district.”

Board Member Liaisons


The board also announced the following members to be the liaisons to the following:

Building and Grounds-Patricia Rudd, Ernest Gentile and Annette Giarratani

Personnel-Joseph Bongiomo and Dr. Alan Cooper

Publicity-Ernest Gentile and Patricia Rudd

Legislation-Patricia Rudd and Annette Giarratani

Hillside Library-Annette Giarratani (Patricia Rudd temporarily)

High School Liaisons-Joan Romagnoli and David DelSanto

Special Education-Joseph Bongiomo and Ernest Gentile

Health Safety and Security-Dr. Cooper, Joan Romagnoli and David DelSanto

Professional Development Plan Committee Liaison-Joseph Bongiomo, Joan Romagnoli and Dr. Cooper.

Technology Advisory-Ernest Gentile

Audit Committee: Audit committee is comprised by the following: Ernest Gentile, Annette Giarratani, Dr. Alan Cooper, Joan Romagnoli and Robert Nugent.

Beautification Committee: Patricia Rudd, Eric Rudd and additional names to be added.)

In other business, the board voted to approve its proposed revised Code of Conduct to become effective immediately.  Superintendent Katulak thanked all those who worked on the committee to revise this code.

Annette Giarratani

At the end of the meeting trustee Joseph Bongiomo reported that he had gone to see trustee Annette Giarratani in the rehab facility she is in and said she was able to smile when he came into her room, which was good news for everyone to hear. However, there was no prediction as to when she might be well enough to resume her regular schedule of teaching and taking her position on the school board.

The New Hyde Park/Garden City Park Schools are set to open on Tuesday, Sept. 7 and will then close for the Jewish holiday on Thursday and Friday.

The next school board meeting will be held on Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. at the Manor Oaks School.