When the North Bellmore School Board convened on Aug. 9 at Martin Avenue Elementary School, the future of Jacob Gunther was still a hot topic of discussion.
Residents questioned how Wee Friends Nursery School will use the property, how many classrooms will be in use and whether or not a pool is in their plans.
“As of right now, there are no offices upstairs,” Board of Education President JoAnn DeLauter said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.”
Superintendent Arnold Goldstein said that Wee Friends will use three classrooms downstairs, but depending on enrollment, that could be increased to four. Goldstein added that there is a provision in their rental agreement that allows them to install a pool, but the fate of that relies on whether a summer camp comes to the location.
“As a resident, I deserve to know what’s going on,” Angela Castoria, a North Bellmore resident, said. “I didn’t get any fliers or any information sent to me.”
Goldstein said by saying that there was not a mass mailing done to the residents, but a Connect Ed message was sent out to parents.
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Other questions were raised regarding the fencing that’s gone up at the location and how it affects the public’s usage of the playground and swings.
“While Wee Friends is in session, the pathway from Linstead Lane will be closed because kids will be out playing,” Goldstein said. “When it’s not in use, you’ll all have access to that path. They do not plan on closing off the swings and the playground.”
Goldstein added that Wee Friends does intend on adding new equipment, and when they do, they could close the gates to protect their property.
Other Meeting Happenings
- Parents inquired as to whether students had to now be tested to show progress. Goldstein said that “there is a requirement, in addition to the state assessment, that there be a local assessment.” This has to be done at least twice per year using NWEA testing.
- The PTA from Saw Mill Road Elementary School asked the Board whether cameras were considered to keep an eye on the new playgrounds to protect against vandalism. DeLauter said the board would discuss the matter, but “I don’t know if there’s money in the budget this year to put cameras in.”
- On Aug. 30, there will be an orientation for former Jacob Gunther students that will be attending either Dinkelmeyer or Saw Mill. At Dinkelmeyer, the orientation will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and at Saw Mill, the orientation will be from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
- Based on capital construction work the district has done the past few years, they called for bids to finance the $9.7 million for 15 years. After receiving eight bids and receiving an AA2 rating, the district borrowed at 1.86 percent, which they were pleased to report.
- The gas service upgrade is progressing. By the beginning of the heating season, the district is hoping to be completely operational by gas.