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Riverhead BOE approves repair reserves for 14 projects, including asbestos removal

The Riverhead Board of Education unanimously approved using $926,600 from the repair reserve fund for 14 different projects throughout the district following a public hearing at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

One of those projects includes replacing the flooring in certain rooms in the middle school that were found to have non-friable asbestos.

That particular project is expected to cost the district $239,500 and work is to take place this summer when students aren’t in school, Deputy Superintendent Sam Schneider said.

“The asbestos in the tile is non-friable, meaning it is not a health hazard to be around,” Mr. Schneider said. “But before we have a problem, I want to take out the floors and replace them. It is not as simple as putting down tile, because costs are so expensive because of the heavy cost with the asbestos abatement project.”

According to the USDA Forest Service, Technology and Development department non-friable asbestos is when asbestos containing material (ACM) cannot be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure.

Director of Facilities Mark Finnerty said 18 rooms in the middle school will have tile replaced, including some closets and bathrooms.

In addition to the tile, select exhaust fans and boiler room louvers and controls will be replaced at the middle school for a total of $91,000.

Staging lighting and aging exhaust fans will be replaced at the high school for a total of $149,000.

“If you’ve been at a concert where the lights turn on for no reason, or turn off for no reason, the system is unreliable and obsolete,” Mr. Schneider said. “We plan to replace it in order to cut down the frequent disruptions to the lights here on the stage.”

At Pulaski Street School, select leaking windows and exterior doors and hardware will be replaced. Portions of fencing at several ramps, which have deteriorated, will also be replaced for a total of $160,600.

Deteriorating fences on the playground at Riley Avenue will be replaced along with electrical feeders and a transformer at the school. Mr. Schneider said the system is original to the building and the replacement will include a new above-ground transformer location. These two projects will cost the district $128,000.

At Roanoke Avenue, curbs and asphalt around the bus loops which have deteriorated and cracked, will be replaced for $55,000, Mr. Schneider said.

Four ventilation units on the portable buildings at Phillips Avenue will be replaced, for which the district budgeted $48,000.

Lastly, select windows, exterior doors and hardware will be replaced at Aquebogue Elementary School for a total of $55,500.

The district’s repair reserve fund was approved by voters in May 2017 to fund up to $7.5 million in repair work at all seven buildings. As of Dec. 1, there is over $1.375 million remaining in the reserve, Mr. Schneider said. The board can move additional funds into the reserve in June.

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