The Malverne Union Free School District is in the midst of a massive construction project at the Davison Avenue and Maurice W. Downing elementary schools, and although work is proceeding according to schedule, much of it will not be completed by the time students return for the first day of school next week, said Spiro Colaitis, assistant superintendent of district operations.
At an Aug. 21 Board of Education meeting, school administrators provided an update on the construction, which, according to Colaitis, has moved “feverishly over the past year.” The project, funded by a $14.9 million bond approved by voters in November 2010, includes the construction of extensions at the schools as well as athletic field upgrades at Howard T. Herbert Middle School and Malverne High School.
While Colaitis noted that both elementary schools would be “operational and usable” during the construction, he detailed the parts of the project that need more work. At Davison Avenue, the kitchen is nearly complete, but Colaitis said that it might take extra time to finish, so it’s possible that students may receive cold lunches at the start of the year.
The Davison Avenue computer lab may also not be ready for the start of school, and if it is not completed by mid-September, when students take their initial assessment tests, Colaitis explained, they would be bused to the middle school for the exams.
Davison Avenue is still awaiting the arrival of most new exterior and interior doors, Colaitis said, but three days later he told the Herald that the doors had begun arriving and should be in place by the first day of the school year.
Work on the Downing school’s library is behind schedule, he said, and the area will be cordoned off until it is completed, which he said he hopes will be in mid-September. In the meantime, the librarian will wheel books on a cart to students in their classrooms.
The cafeterias at both schools have been refurbished, and piping, which used to be visible, is now concealed above the ceilings.