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Parking Lot / Site Improvement Plan

Principal Architect Roger Smith of BBS Architects& Engineers presented a formal plan for Springs School parking and site improvements to the Board of Education and assembled members of the public on Monday, April 20.

Mr. Smith provided detailed drawings and a cost estimate for the project, which would be paid for by using monies in the capital reserve fund that was previously authorized by district residents. As a result, there is no tax impact associated with the work. A second proposition on the May 19 school budget vote ballot would ask voters for permission to access the funds.

“The Board of Education and many parents and staff members view this as a top priority for the school community,” said Board of Education President Liz Mendleman. “The current parking and traffic flow presents health and safety considerations for students, staff and all who visit our school, and we believe rectifying this is long overdue.”

“The school community has been examining this issue for roughly five years,” said community member (and East Hampton Town Police Chief) Michael Sarlo. "The growth of the student population and the current safety and logistical challenges of the site are obvious and should be addressed in a meaningful way. The plan that has been created meets that goal and should be given careful consideration by the community."

Mr. Smith described the current site challenges, especially for those who attempt to visit the school during the morning drop-off and afternoon pickup, and during events at the school. He indicated that vehicular access to the site is poor, as is the organization of traffic flow and provision for parking, and through his presentation, demonstrated that the goal is to create a modern site access plan that is driven by safety and efficiency of use.

To do this, the $2 million plan calls for creating improved access to the school site by widening Ed Hults Lane, constructing a parking lot on the current baseball fields and reconfiguring a drop-off loop. The baseball fields would be relocated to the main field (and improved) and a paved play area/playground would be constructed.

If approved by voters, state approvals and construction would likely be finalized by September of 2016.

In a separate issue, it was noted that in 2006, voters had provided authorization for the Board of Education to sell up to $225,000 in bonds to partially fund the construction of a regulation size baseball field, with the remaining cost possibly to be borne by grant funding. Currently, junior high students cannot play baseball on our school site because a regulation field does not exist. As the current Board of Education understands it, the project was put on the shelf because projected costs were too high and other revenues did not materialize. But the voter authorization for construction of the regulation size baseball field remains available for use, albeit NOT as a part of the project that voters will be asked to consider on May 19. Architect Roger Smith’s team is investigating what it would take to construct the additional field.

“We still have a number of logistical and statutory details to examine and resolve, but we are moving forward with a commitment to sharing as much information as possible about the project,” said Superintendent Jay Finello.

 

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