O.B. school district’s $30 million bond vote soon


Residents in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District are being asked to vote in favor of a roughly $30 million school bond referendum on Dec. 7. If passed, the money would be used for “21st Century Improvements,” the details of which the district has been sharing with residents since the fall. There would be no additional charge to taxpayers if the bond is passed.

“This is a one-time opportunity to replace the expiring bond [$15.5 million], while addressing our facility needs,” Dr. Francesco Ianni said at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. “Our mission is to empower our students to achieve excellence. If we don’t have a successful vote we can’t put this up again.”

The interest rate for the new bond would be low, he said, at 1.5 percent and the debt service would be $2.2 million annually, which it is now. “Right now, the interest is so low that financial advisors are saying they have never seen it so low,” Ianni said. “This would be an amazing opportunity for the district to do great work.”

If passed, the bond would allow for improvements in all three schools.
“We could expand Roosevelt, Vernon would get a music wing, and the cafeteria and classrooms would be renovated,” Ianni said. “At the high school we’d renovate the back of the library and a turf field will be added. On the second floor there are three old classrooms which we would renovate.”

Students learn differently today, he added. They no longer sit in rows but work collaboratively with the teacher serving as the facilitator.

Ianni said he is looking ahead at the district five years from now. “I know [passing the bond] is the right thing to do,” he said.

The bond vote is on Tuesday, Dec. 7, in the Oyster Bay High School chorus room from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.