Glen Cove Community Votes On Bond Referendum: GCCSD wants to invest in district-wide safety, high school improvements

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Much of the bond focuses on much needed repairs at Glen Cove High School. (Photos courtesy the Glen Cove City School District)

On Dec. 6, members of the Glen Cove community headed either to Connolly Elementary School or the Glen Cove High School gym to vote on the 2022 Bond, valued at $30,552,621. The public voted 1,179 to 853 in favor of the bond.
“Buildings become extremely old… even with repairs,” said Dr. Maria Rianna. “I have to say, our maintenance and custodial staff has done its very best to keep things far greater than their life expectancy. But there comes a time that you can no longer do repairs and must have things upgraded. That’s really the focus of what we’re doing now.”
According to Ballotpedia, “a school bond election is a bond issue used by a public school district, typically to finance a building project or other capital project. These measures are placed on the ballot by district school boards to be approved or defeated by the voting public.”
With the monies the district would receive from the bond, new classroom and office hallway doors meeting state code, equipped with state-of-the-art automatic locking security door hardware, would be invested to across the district.
“The doors and the locks are antiquated actually,” Dr. Rianna said. “It’s a matter of more than just replacing the lock. It’s replacing the lock that will allow you to lock the doors from the inside.”
At Glen Cove High School, the district will invest into the reconstruction of all student science rooms and labs to meet curriculum demands.
“Our former Assistant Principal Michael Israel, who retired just this past year, graduated from the high school in 1974,” Dr. Rianna said. “These are the same exact science labs from 1974 and prior… Our concerns there are that we can’t use any of the closets, the sinks, the different items that are needed for safe lab experiences. Lab experiences are mandated, are required for Regents examinations. Our students are going above and beyond in their studies with dual enrollment courses and AP Science courses and yet we fall short in providing them the appropriate lab experiences. That is without question.”
The student cafeteria, kitchen and bathroom will receive renovations to meet Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requirements.
“If you are on crutches or in a wheel chair, you could not get your own lunch, because there is no space to walk down the lunch line,” Dr. Rianna said. “We have lines going into the hallway and it creates a dangerously congested area as a result. We’re not doing this because we want something more pretty. We want something that is ADA compliant and is supportive of our students on a daily basis.”
The Courtyard Window Curtainwall will be replaced, increasing energy efficiency and health.
And the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioner (HVAC) system will also be replaced, as well as the student corridor lockers.
“We want to be able to have a system that works well in regard to the circulation of heat in that building,” Dr. Rianna said. “This is the original HVAC and if you were to look at it we’ve done repair upon repair upon repair. There are no more repairs to do.”
On the outside of the high school, the bond would fund a new synthetic turf field, tennis courts, tennis building and new handball courts.
The district’s current state aid rate on qualifying capital improvements is 33 percent. According to a newsletter the district sent to voters in the community, it is conservatively estimated that over 90 percent of the proposed projects will qualify for state aid, meaning the district will receive approximately $10 million in state aid. The district will likely be able to commence work in the summer of 2023.
Approved funds will be borrowed in phases, with a small portion of the funds borrowed in 2023 and the majority borrowed in 2024 and 2025. The money is only borrowed at times it’s needed. Over the life of the bonds, the average cost to a homeowner with a home assessed at $500,000 will be $12.50 per month.
Like the 2020 bond vote that never happened due to the onslaught of the pandemic in March of that year, this has been a controversial topic around the City of Glen Cove. Fliers posted around the community and posts on social media either state “Vote No” or “Vote Yes.” People are concerned about their wallets at a time of inflation and post pandemic challenges. But there is also the health, safety and prosperity of the community’s children at stake.
Dr. Rianna says that opposing documents of the bond that have been circulating contain much disinformation.
“Our financial issues are documented yearly, shared with the community,” Dr. Rianna said. “On our website, you can go back to the very first risk assessment I did when I got here. The mismanagement of monies caused us to be in a very dire, strained situation even back then. But we were able to change procedures so that we are aligned with the state comptroller’s auditing procedures and financial procedures.”
To learn more about the bond and the related capital projects, visit www.glencoveschools.org/district.

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