Riverhead School District

Split BOE opts against supporting Family Community Life Center

The Riverhead school board at Tuesday's meeting in Riverside. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)
The Riverhead school board at Tuesday’s meeting in Riverside. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

The Riverhead school board has decided not to approve a resolution in support of the proposed Family Community Life Center.

During Tuesday’s meeting, newly elected school board president Sue Koukounas and school board members Greg Meyer and Lori Hulse voted in favor. Newly elected school board vice president Amelia Lantz and school board members Ann Cotten-DeGrasse and Chris Dorr abstained from voting.

School board member Kim Ligon was absent.

After the meeting, Superintendent Nancy Carney confirmed the non-binding measure was defeated in the split vote.

Ms. Lantz read a statement prior to voting and said: “As a Riverhead BOE [Board of Education] member, I’m not comfortable voting on a resolution that’s well outside the jurisdiction of the BOE.”

Ms. Koukounas said she believes supporting the project isn’t outside the purview of the school board.

“My position is we always welcome partnerships within the community — both current and future,” she said.

Shirley Coverdale, president and CEO of the Family Community Life Center, had requested the school board approve a resolution in support of the project.

The proposed Family Community Life Center, which was conceptualized by Ms. Coverdale and her husband, the Rev. Charles Coverdale of First Baptist Church, would include 125 apartments, an Olympic-size indoor swimming pool, a 25-seat theater and media center, 24-hour adult and child day care services and more.

At the June 9 school board meeting, she said the YMCA is “interested in partnering” with her group “in some form.” She didn’t disclose any other details about the discussions and declined further comment the following day.

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