Although the majority of residents voted against the Glen Cove City School District’s proposed $78 million bond on Oct. 22, district officials spared no time in getting together to discuss plans to propose yet another bond to address the district’s crumbling infrastructure in 2020. District Superintendent Maria Rianna told residents present at a Board of Education meeting on Nov. 13 that the board had already held two workshop sessions to go over what should be addressed in the new bond proposal.
“The board is still examining all the information, and there will be opportunities for community input,” Rianna said. “The board has moved forward on the bond issue because we recognize that we must move forward for the schools to be upgraded and be made safe.”
The original bond, which failed in March, and the recent bond both sought to bring major upgrades to the district’s schools, all of which were suffering from deterioration. A common anecdote throughout the district regards the ceiling tiles that sag and fall. In 2018, nearly half of the library’s ceiling tiles collapsed. These tiles are so old that they are not even made anymore in the U.S. While those tiles were replaced with new ones, the old tiles are still up on the other half of the library, which houses the student’s seating area. The high school’s science lab tables are in a similar state, along with cracking floors throughout the building.
During a tour of the schools prior to the Oct. 22 bond vote, safety became a major concern among residents, specifically when it came to the doors. Throughout the district, stairwells lacked fire safety doors, several have breakable glass within reach of the door handles, and some exit doors have handles that could be chained together, a serious safety issue. Board of Education Trustee Karen Ferguson told her fellow board members during the Nov. 13 meeting that several parents had reached out to her to ask if the schools were actually safe for their students to attend.
“They are concerned that our schools are not safe without the bond,” Ferguson said.
Monica Alexandris-Miller, the vice president of the Board of Education, assured Ferguson that the schools are safe, but that the state of the schools needed to be addressed in the near future in order to make sure that the buildings remain safe. Board of Education President Gail Nedbor-Gross added that she suggested that all members of the board take part in tours around the district’s schools in order to see what the necessary upgrades would be to include in the next bond proposal.
Because the second bond proposal failed, the district cannot put a third proposal up for vote until a year after the first one, which means a new bond referendum will not be up until March 2020.