School board president Greg Meyer at a community forum Oct. 16. File photo: Maria Piedrabuena

The Riverhead Board of Education will hold a series of new public forums to further discuss a controversial bond proposal that would upgrade and expand facilities, officials announced Tuesday night at a BOE meeting. 

Board of education president Greg Meyer said the board would announce the new dates before Thanksgiving. Meyer explained that some community members have requested that at least one of those forums be held during the day or on a Saturday, which Meyer said the board will consider. 

“Please keep you eyes and ears open for that,” Meyer said.

The latest bond revision was presented on Nov. 5 and splits the bond project into two propositions for voters to consider next year at a special election. 

Proposition 1, at a cost of $85.9 million, would address “critical” items such as spatial, infrastructural and security needs, while Proposition 2, at a cost of $8.8 million, would isolate “essential” elements of main campus planning such as sports field improvements, parking expansion and other similar items.

Two residents asked the board Tuesday about the “rolling out“ process of the bond, if approved. They expressed concern for the students during construction and renovation of the various school buildings and asked what were the district’s plan to ”keep the children safe.“

Meyer said that although it is still early, the district will have a plan in place for the actual construction once the bond is approved, and that the goal was to “get the ball rolling right away.” Meyer said that time-wise the district wants to advance as much as possible during the summer and other school breaks, but any ongoing project during the school year would be “properly fenced off.”

“We are kind of still in the planning stages now, but we definitely share the same concerns,” Meyer said. “ It’s going to be rolled out where it’s going to have the least impact on not only the students, but also the staff and the community.”

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Maria del Mar Piedrabuena
María del Mar is a contributor to RiverheadLOCAL and the editor and founder of Tu Prensa Local, a Spanish-language local news outlet on Long Island. Maria has won several awards for her work, including a first place best column award from the New York Press Association. Email Maria