Riverhead schools thinking expansion

Back in February, voters in the Riverhead School District overwhelmingly rejected a proposed $123 million bond issue to expand and renovate the district’s school buildings.

But officials said afterward that the need for new space remains and would have to be addressed again at some point in the future.

That process will begin now.

School board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse said the board is creating a “bond committee” to examine possible solutions to the district’s space needs. And they’re looking for people to serve on it.

“We are inviting people that are interested in reassessing the bond and how we will go about attacking this [space] problem, because you know that we do have some major problems in overcrowding and in infrastructure that needs revamping,” Ms. Cotten-DeGrasse said at last Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Prior to the February vote, the board had a community advisory committee that had been looking at space needs for many years. At that time, the district was considering purchasing land for the construction of a new school building. But the February bond did not call for any new buildings or new property, concentrating instead on expansions or renovations at all seven school buildings in the district. It also proposed new athletic facilities and a renovated bus garage.

Ms. Cotten-DeGrasse said anyone who’s interested in serving on the new committee should contact her or Superintendent Nancy Carney.

“We will be happy to have you on that committee with us,” she said last Tuesday. “We will try to get as many segments of the community as possible.”

Ms. Cotten-DeGrasse said the board hopes to have the committee in place and ready to begin work this month.

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