The Southold Union Free School District’s board of education will continue to discuss both a proposed bond referendum and capital reserve project tomorrow.
A BOE work session is scheduled for tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in the district auditorium. The district’s architectural firm, BBS, will give a power point presentation, followed by a discussion by the board.
Last month, the board first discussed the new capital improvements project, aimed at shepherding both the elementary and high school buildings into the future.
Discussing the work that took place over the summer, including renovations in the cafeteria and moving the main office, Gamberg said in three years, 2018, the district’s current debt will be retired.
But work still needs to be done, Gamberg said, including projects that were drawn up in original plans before he took over the post, that are meant to enhance the value of the facility not only for students and educators, but for Southold Town taxpayers.
The new capital project will include enhanced security, new learning spaces and classroom utilization, a focus on infrastructure, work on the athletic fields and library/media upgrades.
Although at present the capital project is being discussed in “broad strokes,” with no price tag yet determined, Gamberg said architects will go over preliminary plans tomorrow.
The board will have to vote by resolution whether to authorize the project and if they do, the voters will be asked to go to public referendum in December.
The public will also be asked to weigh in on their vision, Gamberg said, adding that the process needs to be commenced now, to synchronize with the state review, so that work can begin in 2018.
Gamberg gave a presentation last month, offering a glimpse into how the school could evolve over the next 100 years, he said. “We need to pay attention to history, be attentive to the present, and look forward to the future,” Gamberg said.
BOE president Paulette Ofrias said the changing climate of the nation highlights the need for security enhancements, such as the recent move of the main office. But due to the New York State imposed tax cap, capital projects are not possible within the normal operating budget, she said.
Gamberg reminded that the board has been fiscally responsible even with the constraints of the tax cap.
During his presentation, Gamberg said despite the fact that education is facing challenges around the globe, from technology, to how educators go about teaching and students, learning, the goal is to create opportunities for students to participate not only in classrooms, but through “authentic engagement” in experiences that helps lessons learned in the classroom come alive in the real world.
Looking ahead, he said, “I invite you to breathe life into the vision of the future for our schools.”