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Top Stories 2019: Riverhead School District proposes bond

The Riverhead Central School District community will vote in February on a capital bond proposal for $87.7 million after school officials worked to reduce the project’s total cost.
First pitched in September as a roughly $100 million project, the bond proposal was amended based on continuing feedback from the community. During October, the bond amount ranged from $73.5 million to $87.9 million.
The bond vote will involve two propositions. A portion of the first proposition will address the need for more space throughout the district, including new classrooms at Pulaski Street School and one additional gymnasium.
The project originally called for dividing all students in grades 5 through 8 between Pulaski Street and Riverhead Middle School — a cheaper option — but continued criticism from parents prompted the district to leave Pulaski with grades 5 and 6 only.
Phillips Avenue and Roanoke Avenue elementary schools will also get additional classrooms to meet enrollment needs.
A long-range planning study completed Nov. 13 by Western Suffolk BOCES, revealed that high school enrollment will be larger than anticipated. Approximately 32 classrooms will be constructed at the high school to accommodate students.
The first proposition also includes roughly $3.3 million for districtwide safety and security upgrades and $19 million for infrastructure changes across all district buildings.
For $3.98 million, the bond will also construct a new 7,000-square-foot Pupil Personnel Services building, situated next to the current district office.
A second proposition, which is dependent on the first and cannot be approved by itself, totals $8.8 million. It will mainly refurbish and construct sports facilities on school grounds.
The district is considering allocating funds from the Cafeteria Capital Reserve to the bond to shave $500,000 from the total.
Additional public forums are expected to be held on the proposal, though dates have yet to be determined.