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Briarcliff Schools Propose $10.5 Million Bond

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – The Briarcliff Board of Education unanimously agreed Monday night to propose a $10.5 million bond to school district voters May 15.

The bond proposition includes installation of artificial turf fields, track, field and playground equipment, interior renovation work, roof reconstruction and/or replacement, technology improvements and dozens of other infrastructure improvements, according to the board’s resolution. The proposed bond is based off of work and analysis from the district’s Ad Hoc Facilities Committee.

While the committee recommended using artificial turf fields, Superintendent of Schools Neal Miller said he was recommending a more costly option of non-SBR materials more because of safety concerns.

"I'm making this recommendation because I've done a lot of research on SBR," Miller said at the meeting. "I feel there is information still lacking in terms of the safety of SBR. And I don't think there should be a question of safety for the students and our community."

Miller said SBR materials, which appear to be crumbled rubber material in synthetic turf, could heat up to possibly unsafe levels.

The committee’s proposal, which was presented at a Feb. 27 meeting, asked for the construction of a full size baseball field and nearly a dozen major improvements to the district’s athletic fields. The committee’s original proposal also included roughly $1.6 million in infrastructure improvements for Todd School, $307,500 for Briarcliff Middle School and about $1.87 million in improvements to Briarcliff High School. Various technology and energy recommendations were also included in the presentation.

Each board member voiced support of the proposal, but Trustee Sal Maglietta said the expenses in the proposal could've been avoided without cuts from previous years.

"I remain in full support of what I think was an excellent full set of work done by the Ad Hoc Facilities Committee," Maglietta said. "The bottom line is that this could've been prevented if we would've dealt with this earlier."

Board President Guy Rotondo disagreed.

"I think the right way to do this facilities project is through bond indebtedness," Rotondo said. "One of the biggest problems this district had over the years was it wasn't giving the money back to the taxpayers."

Roofing Consultant Russel Watsky told the board Monday that he did not recommend roof replacement for the district’s facilities.

“You really only need to remove half an inch of insulation and keep up continual maintenance,” Watsky said. “You don’t need to remove the entire roof” at the high school, he added.

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