The Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education unveiled two years worth of renovations at the Miller Avenue Elementary School building Tuesday.
The renovations, which totaled approximately $12 million, got underway in July 2016.
The Board unveiled a plaque highlighting the efforts within the school to make these changes. All modifications were part of the district’s Renewal Project initiated in 2015.
“This building was built in 1970, and we keep things updated, but it needed to be renovated,” assistant superintendent for finance and operations Glen Arcuri, said.
The modifications included floor replacement in all student wings, new ceilings in most of the building, new doors and locks for security purposes, updated bathrooms, and a closet for art room supplies. The library has also been redesigned and renovated.
Prior to the Board of Education meeting, principal Christine Carlson and Mr. Arcuri led board members and administrative staff through the halls of the school to formally present the changes.
“Thank you for coming and allowing me to talk about the building,” Ms. Carlson said at the Board of Education meeting. “And thank you for indulging me. My husband hears about this constantly.”
The renovations also modified the outdoor area next to the school building. This included additional swings and picnic tables, bollards installed for playground safety, and a new bus loop intended only for bus delivery and pick up.
Ms. Carlson said modifying the outdoor bus loop was a huge part of the renovation because it will insure safety for students upon arrival and dismissal.
“Children’s safety is our priority here,” Ms. Carlson said during the tour.
One of the major changes, Mr. Arcuri said, has been making the two front restrooms in the front of the school compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Mr. Arcuri said the goal would be to modify all bathrooms in the school to meet ADA standards.
“We’d want to consider making them all ADA compliant, so if a disabled child is in the first grade wing, they won’t have to go to the front of the building,” he said. “So, if I could prioritize, that’s where I’d recommend we make changes.”
During the tour, Mr. Arcuri said he asked for teachers recommendations on what needed to be modified next, and they suggested making classrooms more interactive for kids.
“There’s not enough areas in the classrooms for students to be hands-on, and we want more of that,” he said.
Ms. Carlson said there’s always room for improvement.
“As much as every classroom has the same things in it, they’re set up differently,” she said. “So, the classrooms aren’t uniform. It’s something we aim to do in the future.”
Photo caption: The Shoreham-Wading River school board unveil a plaque Tuesday prior to their board meeting. The plaque highlights the modifications to the Miller Avenue Elementary School building. (Kate Nalepinski photo)