Seaford School District focuses on budget plan


Seaford school district superintendents zeroed in on capital projects at a discussion of next week’s budget vote at a hearing on May 9.

At the hearing, in the high school library, Superintendent Adele Pecora and Andrew Casale, assistant superintendent for business and operations, detailed the $83.5 million spending plan, which was adopted last month. It is 3.73 larger than the current budget, and has a tax levy increase of about 2.27 percent, which, according to Casale, is the second-lowest for the district in seven years and is below the Nassau County and Long Island averages.

The capital projects will include districtwide upgrades of security and door systems, restroom renovations and asphalt work at Seaford Harbor Elementary, and upgrades of the high school football field’s press box and sound system.

In addition to the budget, voters will be asked to approve a pair of propositions that will address the district’s five-year building condition survey. Proposition 2 would allow for $4.5 million of its capital reserve to be used to replace the roof and upgrade the gymnasium ceiling at Seaford Middle School.

The roof, Casale said, is at least 60 years old, and repairs over that time have been made with a foam spraying solution. He displayed photos showing the extent of the deterioration, with cracks and weather-worn spray foam.

“You’re just basically spraying foam on the top of the roof, which is really not the best way to handle it,” Pecora said. “So it hasn’t been completely taken off and re-tarped.”

“You just can’t, obviously, keep spraying and spraying,” Casale said. “There comes a point, as you can see from the pictures and walking these roofs, where they need to be replaced.”

If the proposition is approved, work on the roof would likely begin next spring or summer, according to the district.

Proposition 3 would facilitate the creation of a new capital reserve fund of around $30 million. It would be used over the course of 10 years for projects including roof and masonry repairs at Seaford Harbor and Seaford Manor elementary schools, Casale explained.

“The purpose of this is to begin stockpiling and saving for future roofs,” he said, “because all four of our buildings are really in need of a new roof.”

The fund would also be used for districtwide repairs of asphalt, sidewalks and fencing; upgrades of restrooms, floors, ceilings and heating systems; and door replacements.

Proposition 3 would also transfer $4 million from existing employee retirement system, workers compensation and repair reserves into the new capital reserve. Casale added that the retirement and workers compensation reserves would retain funds and not be exhausted, but the repair reserve would.

“In essence, you’re starting an extra savings account with $4 million,” Casale said, “so we can then begin thinking about our next roof that we need to do.”

According to Casale, passing both propositions would save the district and taxpayers around $7.9 million in interest, because it would eliminate the necessity of borrowing money by way of a bond.

Thanks to the district’s maximization of grant opportunities, Casale said, there is more than $750,000 remaining in the capital fund, which can be used for facility upgrades throughout its buildings. Those include renovations to the high school’s senior cafeteria — and the construction of a coffee shop — and auditorium, as well as work at the middle school.

“It’s a good budget,” Casale said. “I’m very confident in it. It preserves all the current programs, and really has a lot of enhancements in it.”

The budget vote will take place on Tuesday at the Harbor and Manor schools from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit