The new elevator at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School, which the district began constructing last September 2009, is almost ready to go, but just needs a few more tweaks before its set to take flight.
“It is substantially complete,” said Wayne Loper, assistant superintendent for finance and operations. “There are a few minor items to finish up, but it is running as we speak. The elevator will be there for this upcoming school year.”
Initially, the district planned to have the majority of the work, by ACL Construction of West Babylon, done by last summer, but were not approved by the State Education Department to start the construction until last May. Valley Stream high school officials were hoping that the construction would be complete by January, with a total projected cost of $770,000.
The elevator, which is paid for through a voter-approved allocation from the district’s capital reserve fund, will serve the central administration wing of the school. It will serve disabled and handicapped individuals by providing access to the district offices on the second floor of Memorial, which are at the back of the building.
According to Loper, the idea behind installing an elevator was to comply to the American Disabilities Act and provide handicapped access to the district offices. He noted that officials came up with the idea as apart of budget talks.
“The idea for an elevator was first discussed with the Board of Education during preliminary budget discussions,” Loper said. “The board approved it. The expenditure was ultimately approved by the voters.”
Upon the start of construction, some Memorial teachers complained that the noise was disrupting their classes this past school year. To combat the noise complaints, Vice President of the Valley Stream Teacher’s Association Pat Naglieri met with Principal Kathleen Walsh and district officials to make arrangements for teachers to relocate their classes.