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Sewanhaka building projects to wrap up in new year

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Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2016 10:07 am

Work continues on the third phase of a major building projects initiative at the Sewanhaka school district’s five high schools, but the projects will not be finished until after the start of the new year, the district superintendent said Tuesday.

“I for one am very much looking forward to finishing construction,” Superintendent Ralph Ferrie said at the Nov. 22 Sewanhaka school board meeting.

Work started this summer on the final stage of Sewanhaka’s $86.6 million capital improvements package, funded by a bond voters approved in 2014.

Construction is continuing on extensions to Floral Park Memorial High School and Sewanhaka High School; renovations to the auditoriums at New Hyde Park Memorial High School and H. Frank Carey High School in Franklin Square; and a new gymnasium at Elmont Memorial High School, Ferrie said.

Students currently cannot use the auditoriums at New Hyde Park and H. Frank Carey, but the district expects them to be ready by Feb. 1, Ferrie said.

Workers plan to wrap and heat the steel frame for the Sewanhaka extension so they can continue construction through the winter, Ferrie said.

Construction is causing some parking problems at Elmont, Floral Park and Sewanhaka, but the district is “making every effort to minimize disruptions and any additional inconveniences that may evolve in the future,” its website says.

“I’d certainly like to commend our staff and our students for the manner in which they’re handling construction,” Ferrie said. “It’s certainly a credit to them.”

The district’s energy performance contracts to install energy-saving infrastructure have been approved and “set in motion,” Ferrie said.

They include the installation of solar panels on the roofs of all five buildings, which will generate about 35 percent of the district’s electricity, according to information on the district’s website. The panels will be installed over the winter, weather permitting, Ferrie said.

The district also plans to start installing energy-efficient lights in the schools within the next two weeks, Ferrie said, and ventilation work will start in the spring.

The conversion of H. Frank Carey and New Hyde Park to natural gas is currently underway, Ferrie said.

Work completed so far includes new lockers at Floral Park; a new weight room and parking lot at New Hyde Park; a new weight room, wrestling room and driveway at H. Frank Carey; and new water fountains at all five schools.

The projects follow the completion last year of the capital initiative’s second phase, which built new athletic fields and installed new roofs at all five schools. 

The first phase, completed in 2014, was a renovation of the fields at the Alva T. Stanforth Sports Complex in Elmont.

Final costs for the first two phases have so far come in under budget, Ferrie said.

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