SWR residents to vote on roof repairs, tech labs in May

SAMANTHA BRIX FILE PHOTO | Roof repairs at the Briarcliff School in Shoreham will be included as part of a proposition on the Shoreham-Wading River ballot this May.

Residents in the Shoreham-Wading River school district will vote this May to allocate $3.9 million from prior year  state aid funds to make repairs to damaged roofs at district schools and build technology labs after the school board authorized the proposition at their meeting Tuesday.

Several of the building’s roofs are in need of emergency repairs, officials said, including the roof above the high school stage that has begun to warp the wood below. The district uses 35-gallon garbage bags to catch the water now, officials said.

The funds will be pulled from the district’s prior year state aid reserves, which are set aside for capital projects, officials said.

Superintendent Steven Cohen said the repairs cannot wait any longer.

“We really don’t have a choice about the roofs,” Mr. Cohen. “They need to be fixed.”

The vast majority of the proposition would devote $3.2 million to build and renovate new tech labs at the high school.

The funds would pay to renovate four existing non-conforming science labs, turning them into two classrooms while building an additional two tech labs.

Roof repairs at Briarcliffe Elementary School would also be paid for by the proposition, if approved. Briarcliff was closed for one week in 2011 due to roof damages.

Since the roof repairs were said to be essential, school board members debated whether or not to take the repairs out of the proposition and put them into the capital budget for next school year as emergency repairs.

In that case, the $700,000 in repair projects would have been guaranteed to be funded, because emergency repairs remain in any contingency budget should the original budget fail.

The board voted to leave the the repairs in the approved proposition after some members brought up concerns about putting an additional $700,000 into the budget.

“It needs to be done, proposition or budget,” said board president William McGrath.

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