SWR voters approve spending prop and school board member resigns

10/02/2012 10:52 PM |
Shoreham-Wading River

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Voters sign in at Shoreham-Wading River High School Tuesday evening to vote on a $1.64 million tech and track proposition.

Shoreham-Wading River voters approved a $1.64 million proposition Tuesday to upgrade the district’s aging computer systems and make repairs to the high school track.

And after the results were accepted by the school board, a trustee announced she would be resigning due to conflicts between her work and the meeting schedules.

The Technology and Track Proposition was approved 837 votes to 243, according to election officials.

The work will be paid for using prior year state aid money, according to the district. Taxes will not be increased for district residents.

The largest part of the proposition will use $449,000 to pay for a districtwide wireless system and any necessary upgrades to conform with upcoming state-mandated testing requirements for the 2013-14 school year, which require laptops for students to use.

An additional $267,000 will be used to virtualize computer labs, $349,000 will pay for for classroom computing, as well as $105,000 for Smartboards for district classrooms and $86,000 for Microsoft software licensing.

School officials said that more than 70 percent of classroom computers are more than five years old and run obsolete versions of Windows — like Windows 95 or Windows XP — that are incapable of running the latest educational software or maintaining streaming video.

The resurfacing and subsurface repairs to the high school track, which has become cracked and faded, will cost $286,000.

School board president William McGrath thanked members of the technology committee for advising the board on the district’s needs, and specifically thanked students Keith Steinbrecher, a junior, and Matt Gladysz, a sophomore, who lobbied for the track repairs.

“All of the credit for this goes to you guys,” Dr. McGrath said while thanking the students.

School superintendent Steven Cohen said the district will submit a plan to the state for approval and then bid out the technology side of the proposition.

The high school track will be repaired next summer, he said.

Dr. McGrath said after the vote that turnout was lower for this proposition than previous votes, saying the rainy weather and October date might have kept residents at home.

Then, after the board accepted the vote, board member Marie Lindell announced that she would be stepping down from the board.

Ms. Lindell, a pilot who had missed board meetings for the previous two months, explained that her airline company went through a merger, and because of that her hours have been changed.

Before the merger, she was able to fly back into New York and make it to the meetings, but now she is flying on international flights, and will not be able to attend the meetings on Tuesdays, Ms. Lindell said.

She added that she was only able to attend this particular Tuesday night’s meeting because she took a vacation day, saying that she wanted to explain why she was unable to be on the board any longer.

“It’s not from lack of interest or lack of wanting to be here,” Ms. Lindell said.

Dr. McGrath called her a dedicated member of the board, and said after the meeting that the board was looking into what will be done to either fill Ms. Lindell’s vacant seat or wait until her term ends in June.

psquire@timesreview.com