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Riverhead Board of Education signs lease to add eight classrooms

The Riverhead Central School District’s Board of Education approved a lease agreement with Crooked Hill Associates to reshuffle space for some district staff to accommodate the addition of eight new high school classrooms.

The eight classrooms will come from portables that are currently offices for Pupil Personnel Services. As part of the reshuffling, the PPS staff and offices would move into the current district office, and the district office would move to the location at 814 Harrison Ave., according to superintendent Dr. Augustine Tornatore.

The lease is a five-year agreement. The yearly rent starts at $155,000 for the first year then will rise gradually until it ends at $167,777 in the fifth year.

Mr. Tornatore said the landlord agreed to absorb the cost of the renovations needed to make the location suitable for the district office staff.

“The owners of the property, they agreed they would be absorbing the cost of fixing up the space,” he said. “I believe up to $180,000, where they are able to renovate the office space to make it suitable for the district office team.” 

The plan is for the district office to move in once the renovations to the property are complete and have the classrooms ready for the 2022-2023 school year.

“Having these eight additional classrooms will certainly help the high school, will certainly help with the nine-period day and offer more opportunities for our students,” Mr. Tornatore said. “There’s a lot of great things that would come out of this lease agreement and we would be able to capture the space relatively quickly at the lowest possible cost.”


The Board of Education approved adding a proposed expenditure of $66,000 from the Cafeteria Capital Reserve Fund on the May 17 ballot.

The approval comes after a presentation from the district’s director of food services Keith Graham and interim assistant superintendent of finance and operations Faith Caglianone.

The expenditure would cover the installation of a walk-in refrigerator at Phillips Avenue School, the purchase of two warming cabinets at the high school and two milk chests at Riley Avenue Elementary School.

According to Mr. Graham, the walk-in refrigerator is needed to make better use of the space in the kitchen at Phillips Avenue.

“Workspace in the kitchen is minimal,” Mr. Graham said. “Reach-in refrigerators take up a lot of space inside the kitchen. They would be moved out to make room into the space we’re going to put the walk-in refrigerator.”

The warming cabinets are needed to support the two-sided serving line at the high school. The two milk coolers are needed to replace an aging cooler on the serving line at Riley Avenue, according to the presentation.

Mr. Graham said there is also a need for an additional larger cooler needed for storage at Riley Avenue due to increased participation in the breakfast program there.

“Those of you who have been to Riley Avenue, you know that kitchen is even smaller than Phillips so we’re kind of running out of space there as well,” Mr. Graham said.

The Cafeteria Capital Reserve was created in 2018 and there is no tax levy impact to the community, according to Ms. Caglianone.

“The money is already in possession of the district … its outside of the general fund,” she said. “It was generated originally from the operations of the cafeteria account and to be able to access it to improve and sustain our program, we ask for voter approval.”