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Sunday, September 21, 2014
Bellmore-Merrick Central District Board mulls $47.8M capital bond
(Page 3 of 3)
Scott Brinton/Herald Life
A Central District-wide renovation plan developed by BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers calls for $12 million in renovation work at Mepham High School, including new science laboratories, bathrooms and a synthetic-turf athletic field.

The estimated lifespan of an artificial-turf field ranges from eight to 15 years. Tanenbaum said he is concerned that overuse could reduce it to as few as six or seven years. He also said that synthetic-turf fields would account for just over 15 percent of the bond proposal if it were to stand as presented by BBS, and that he is uncertain whether a majority of district taxpayers would be willing to fund them. “I hope it doesn’t fail,” he said, speaking of the bond.

Schwartz said that the community has too few athletic fields, making it hard to restrict the use of school fields by outside groups. “We are so limited,” she said, “we can’t take them away from our kids.”

Without school fields, Trustee Nancy Kaplan added, “We wouldn’t have any place for our kids to play.”

DeTommaso said that many schools had funded artificial-turf fields through donations in the past, but more are bonding to fund them now. And, he said, BBS predicts that the usable life of an artificial-turf field would be 12 to 15 years with proper maintenance.

Where the bond would go

The following are dollar totals for renovation and repair work proposed at each of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District’s schools:

• Kennedy High School: $12 million

• Mepham High School: $12 million

• Calhoun High School: $10 million

• Grand Avenue Middle School: $9.8 million

• Merrick Avenue Middle School: $7.2 million

• Brookside School (central administration office): $7.1 million

• Jerusalem Avenue School (rented by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services): $100,000

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Total: $59.8 million

Note: $47.8 million of work would be financed through a bond, which is subject to voter approval. $12 million of energy-saving work would be financed through an energy performance contract, which is not.

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