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Dec 11, 2017 11:02 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Quogue School Board Expected To Finalize $8.4 Million School Expansion Project Next Week

Superintendent Robert Long and board member Brian Babcock at the Facility Subcommittee meeting on Thursday. VALERIE GORDON
Dec 12, 2017 12:22 PM

The East Quogue Board of Education is expected to vote on several key resolutions regarding its proposed $8.4 million renovation plan for the Central Avenue elementary school at its next meeting on Tuesday, December 19.

Members of the district’s facility subcommittee—a group that includes Board of Education members Diana Gobler and Brian Babcock, School Superintendent Robert Long, business administrator Bruce Singer, and maintenance crew leader Eric Gomez—announced at their most recent meeting last Thursday, December 7, that the final cost of the bond would be $8,428,025.

Mr. Singer noted that the proposed bond would cover only the scope of work outlined by his group’s evaluation. That work includes: replacing the elementary school’s portable building—currently home to administration offices and three classrooms—with a permanent structure, installing a security vestibule, redoing classrooms, renovating bathrooms, and upgrading the gymnasium.

The bulk of the proposed bond—accounting for just shy of $5 million of the total bond—would cover the removal of the portable structure and construction of the permanent expansion.

Additionally, the Board of Education is expected to authorize the hiring of an outside consultant from KGO Consulting Inc. in Uniondale to perform an environmental study under the guidelines of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, for a cost of $850. The study would determine if there are any environmental issues associated with the construction of the expansion.

Finally, the board is expected to solidify a date for the public to vote on the bond. As it stands now, the vote is tentatively scheduled for March 21, 2018.

Mr. Singer noted at last week’s meeting that the board expects the proposed bond to have a “minimal to no impact on taxpayers,” and that the projected tax rate would not be shared until officials finalize the project’s total cost—which is expected to happen on November 19. School officials previously stated that most of the bond’s costs should be offset by the pending retirement of an older school bond.

Mr. Long said he intends to reach out to the leaders of the hamlet’s Chamber of Commerce, Civic Association and Citizen Advisory Committee this week, alerting them of the meeting on December 19.

“If we were going to get negative feedback we would have heard it by now,” Ms. Gobler said this week. “I think we’re in a good place.”

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