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Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Extension, turf fields part of South Side High School bond
(Page 2 of 3)

According to Superintendent Dr. William Johnson, the high school cannot be locked down in an emergency because of the need to allow students to move between the main building and the portables.

Kevin Walsh, the lead designer, presented a map showing the two-story additions to the northwest and southeast corners of the school, and explained that the renovations would help alleviate the congestion in the hallways and more evenly distribute the student population.

A place for athletes

It was standing-room-only for a large portion of the meeting, though a majority of the residents and students who attended appeared to be most concerned with the trustees’ decision on the suggested improvements to the high school’s athletic field.

Kevin Bohn, president of the Rockville Centre Soccer Club, delivered a statement to the school board, explaining why the suggested upgrades, which include a synthetic-turf field inside the running track, a synthetic softball infield within that field and a synthetic practice field with lighting, are so important.

“Field scheduling in our community is an extremely challenging activity,” Bohn said. “There is more demand for space than can be supplied by the existing fields. There is simply not enough space for the high school teams, without even considering the needs of the community-based organizations.”


One resident suggested that the bond might have a greater chance of passing if it were put to a vote alongside the budget, rather than as a special vote in March.

School board President Liz Dion said that while there is generally a greater turnout for the budget vote in May, the two-month difference could set construction back further.

Assuming the bond passes, Smith explained, it would take six months to design and create construction drawings to submit to the State Education Department, another four months to obtain a permit from the state and another two months to take bids on the construction. The construction would take an additional 16 to 18 months.

“If you are moving ahead for a March vote … then we will not be breaking ground this summer,” said Smith.


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Dr. Johnson's comment regarding the proposed school bond is despicable. In using the Newtown tragedy to try and justify this 32 million dollar travesty to the voters is beyond belief. If, in fact as Dr. Johnson stated, it is not currently possible to lock down the High School and ensure the safety of our children, his contract with the district should be cancelled and his employment immediately terminated. Of course, if we the voters recognize this now all too popular scare tactic for what it is, a ploy to hold our children's safety hostage, the expected defeat of this proposed bond will be a reality. A 32 million dollar bond, in this economy, is simply ridiculous and unacceptable. It only deserves another resounding NO! from the voters.

Joseph W. Howard

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