SWR notes: Turf field not expected to be completed until February

11/18/2015 7:00 PM |

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The turf field at Shoreham-Wading River High School won’t be finished until February.

The Board of Education voted 5 to 1 Tuesday night to purchase new components of the field, but the new parts will take longer to install.

The single vote against came as a form of protest from president John  Zukowski, who said he was displeased with how lengthy the project has become, especially since the board established a plan for the field in May only for parts to change “at the last minute.”

“I’m not happy with the way the project was presented by either the bidder or the architect in this instance,” he said during the meeting. “We thought by now we’d be close to having our kids playing on this field … We’re not even close. So my dissenting vote has to do with the manner in which this project has been handled, not with the project itself.”

The field will no longer have an organic infill, and now it will have a UV-resistant infill and a prefabricated pad underneath the turf that reduces the force of impact. The new completion date is set at Feb. 1., two months later than initially expected.

Mr. Zukowski said the board was informed only a few weeks ago that certain components would take a long time to be delivered and that the board “got information too late in the process.”

“In my opinion, we should have been informed well in advance while they were constructing the base of delivery times and availability of the components,” he said. “We want to get the project completed for the kids as quickly as possible.”

Although the components changed, Mr. Zukowski said no money will be need to be reshuffled from other bond projects.

• The district finalized its purchase Tuesday evening to bring in additional AEDs months after voting to add the machines. The community had been requesting such a move, especially after a high school student was revived with an AED at a North Shore Little League game in May.

Zoll, a medical equipment company, will provide the district with 40 machines for a cost of $54,000. The money comes from both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 equipment budgets.

“I’d like to thank in the community who got behind the project and brought this to our attention,” Mr. Zukowski said during the meeting.

• Tuesday’s meeting took place at the Wading River Elementary School to coincide with the annual walkthrough of the school — and a presentation made this year was a bit more creative.

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Students from the Wading River Elementary School presented the district’s Board of Education with this drawing after they talked about the school during Tuesday’s meeting. (Credit: Chris Lisinski)

A combination of third, fourth and fifth graders stood before the board and a gym filled with dozens of people to describe updates from the school. Afterward, teachers showed a short film clip in which students talked about aspects of character and what makes them “responsible” or “trustworthy.”

At the end, the students presented the board with a decorated drawing of a shoe that reads, “Make your footsteps worth following.”

Top photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education President John Zukowski said Tuesday he is unhappy with how long the turf field construction is taking.

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