Riverhead school construction work on schedule to begin this summer

03/30/2012 8:00 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Riverhead High School.

Construction work is on track to begin this summer at several Riverhead schools as part of a $78.3 million capital improvements bond, officials said at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Renovations at Phillips Avenue Elementary School, which include enlarging the school’s library, are expected to begin June 25, said Larry Salvesen, an architect with BBS Architecture. The architecture firm has planned to stagger the construction, and is submitting plans for each school to the state for approval as they are finished.

With approvals for the projects on schedule, construction for Riley Avenue and Aquebogue schools will hopefully start later this summer, he said.

The renovations are part of the $78.3 million school bond for infrastructure repairs and renovations passed last year by Riverhead voters. The bond will cover roof and ventilation repairs at district schools, new science classrooms at Riverhead High School, parking lot reconfigurations, and renovated kitchen space at Aquebogue Elementary, Roanoke Avenue Elementary and Pulaski Street School.

A separate $7 million bond to build a new gym at Riverhead High School was rejected by voters.

Architects hired by the school submitted plans for Phillips Avenue school earlier this month. The State Education Department will return the plans with comments in about 10 to 12 weeks, with approval following about a week later.

Mr. Salvesen said Aquebogue school’s plans will be sent to the state Monday. Riley Avenue school’s plans are scheduled to be sent on May 1, but he added the company is trying to send the plans up sooner, in late April.

Under the current schedule, the high school will be the fourth school to begin renovations, with groundbreaking expected next spring.

Triton Construction CEO Nick Andreadis, who is overseeing the construction work for the bond renovations, said the construction plans was on schedule and that it was not unusual to have a year-long period between the bond passing and the beginning of construction.

“October seems like a long time ago … I’m sure that many of you as well as the community are looking out the windows and saying ‘When is something going to start happening?’” Mr. Andreadis said. “But typically it takes about a year from the time the bond is approved until the time that we can actually break ground on a project.”

psquire@timesreview.com