Riverhead High School is already overcapacity, housing 2,035 students, according to data presented by the district last month. A proposed two-story wing would add 32 classrooms. File photo: Denise Civiletti

There will be three additional community information meetings about the Riverhead Central School District’s capital expansion and improvement plan prior to the Feb. 25 bond vote.

The meetings will take place on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 9 a.m. at Riverhead High School; Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Pulaski Street Elementary School; and Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at Riverhead High School. All community members are invited to attend, the school district said in a press release.

District voters on Feb. 25 will be asked to weigh in on two propositions.

Proposition 1 is an $87.7 million proposal that would address spatial needs, as well as infrastructure and security needs.

A second proposition would fund $8.8 million in athletic facility improvements, additional parking capacity and a “fairgrounds” entrance.

The bulk of the Proposition 1 expenditures — about 50 percent — would go to the high school, which is already at 104% of its capacity (under State Education Department guidelines), housing 2,035 students, according to district data presented last month. The district is proposing the addition of a two-story wing with 32 classrooms, plus support spaces, new cafeteria and serving line and additional gym lockers at a total cost of $44 million.

Expenditures at three other school buildings include:

Pulaski Street Elementary School: addition of 10 classrooms, plus four support classrooms and physical education space, at a total cost of $15.4 million. Pulaski Street is currently already at 114% of its rated capacity, according to district data.

Phillips Avenue Elementary School: removal of three classrooms currently housed within modulars and relocation into new permanent spaces within the building, at a total cost of $2.1 million.

Roanoke Avenue Elementary School: Creation of four support spaces at the upper mezzanine balcony. This would open up two existing full-size classrooms for capacity. Total cost: $495,243.

The district also proposes to construct a new, 7,000-square-foot building for Pupil Personnel Services next to the district office, at a total cost of $3.8 million. The Pupil Personnel Services office is currently located in modular units on the south side of the high school, and must be relocated to make way for the high school expansion. The demolition of the modular units would cost an additional $211,125.

Other items that are part of Proposition 1 are:

  • Parking lot construction to accommodate new expansions. Total cost $675,000
  • District-wide safety, security and ADA requirements. Total cost: $3.3 million
  • Capital projects: Infrastructure improvements and replacements at all buildings, which include roofing systems, replacing boilers, renovating toilets, among other changes. Total cost: $18 million

Proposition 2, to fund new athletic facilities, is not a stand-alone proposition, meaning if it is approved by voters, it does not take effect unless Proposition 1 is also approved

Proposition 1 will cost the average homeowner $197 per year in additional taxes, according to district officials. Proposition 2 will cost the owner of an average home $36 per year in additional taxes.

The tax increases would come on top of the cost of the $78.3 million capital construction bond approved by voters in October 2011 to pay for renovations, upgrades and additions to the district’s school buildings.

As of July, the 2011 capital project had $66,185,000 in principal and $15,114,071 in interest remaining, RCSD Deputy Superintendent Sam Schneider said in a previous interview. He urged voters to contact the district’s business office at (631) 369-6711 for individual information of their properties.

If the bond proposal is approved next month, new facilities could be occupied by September 2023, according to the district’s architects.

Voting on Feb. 25 will take place from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. at the district’s four K-4 elementary schools:

  • Riley Avenue Elementary School, 374 Riley Avenue, Calverton, for people residing in Election District No. 1;
  • Phillips Avenue Elementary School, 141 Phillips Avenue, for people residing in Election District No. 2;
  • Roanoke Avenue Elementary School, 549 Roanoke Avenue, Riverhead, for people residing in Election District No. 3; and
  • Aquebogue Elementary School, 499 Main Road, Aquebogue, for people residing in Election District No. 4.

The election districts have the same boundaries as the elementary school catchment areas, so people vote at the elementary school that children in the voter’s household would attend.

Residents can find their polling place by using this online tool provided by the school district: RCSD Poll Place Finder

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.