Facilities Bond Updates
The Herricks Public Schools’ mission is to promote intellectual curiosity and creative expression through its educational programs. However, aging infrastructure poses challenges to achieving this mission, as basic systems are outdated and in need of upgrades. A building conditions survey was completed in 2016 that identified a variety of building upgrades that need to be completed. The Board established a District Facilities Committee at that time to prioritize initiatives and present recommendations for further discussion with the Board of Education and community. After obtaining input from community members, faculty, parents and students, the Board put forward a bond referendum for districtwide facilities upgrades and improvements. The bond vote was held on December 6, 2016 and District voters approved a $25 million bond referendum by an 80% “yes” vote.
The capital projects that were discussed with the community total $29.5 million. On December 6, 2016 voters approved a $25 million bond referendum and approval to expend $3.3 million from an existing capital reserve to fund projects, for a total of $28.3 million. The District expects to fund the balance of the $29.5 million in capital projects from the same capital reserve if additional funds are set aside in the future. Additional voter authorization for such expenditure would then be required. The proposed capital projects address health and safety and necessary upgrades, as well as modernization of our facilities. The plan results in no additional tax increase to residents, as fiscal responsibility is also a top priority.
Bond Update: Phase 2 Under Way
The district is excited to have launched Phase 2 of the Bond 2016 facilities improvement work, which is currently taking place and will continue throughout the summer and into the fall . This set of projects includes a new grandstand, press box and comfort station on the high school athletic field and renovations to the high school cafeteria and kitchen. It also involves site work at each elementary school; specifically, the resurfacing of parking lots. Construction on the reconfiguration and replacement of the Denton Avenue School entry loop and parking lot, which will be completed over the summer, will facilitate better traffic flow and thereby create a safer arrival and dismissal process.
Phase 1 focused on the high school track and field, as well as the installation of "smart locks" on all classroom doors
throughout the district. These steps have been completed and students, sraff and community members are benefiting from improved, modern, and safer facilities.
In addition to the bond work, the district has recently completed additional capital projects funded through state and county legislative grants amounting to over $400,000. These projects include new district-wide fencing, parking lot resurfacing at the community center, renovations to the middle school athletic fields, and stage lighting and curtain replacements in the high school auditorium.