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Mamaroneck School Board Set To Discuss Major High School Renovations

Mamaroneck Superintendent of Schools Robert Shaps speaking to new teachers at Mamaroneck High School. Shaps, in an email to community members, said the school board will discuss a major capital construction project during its Oct. 13 meeting at MHS.
Mamaroneck Superintendent of Schools Robert Shaps speaking to new teachers at Mamaroneck High School. Shaps, in an email to community members, said the school board will discuss a major capital construction project during its Oct. 13 meeting at MHS. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- The Mamaroneck Board of Education plans to discuss a capital construction project that would improve the high school's physical education instructional areas.

In a memo emailed to the community on Tuesday, Mamaroneck Superintendent of Schools Robert Shaps announced the school board will discuss the scope of the project -- which requires a public vote -- at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 in the tiered classroom at MHS.

At Tuesday's meeting, school district administrators will report to the school board on the status of current facilities, work that has been done to examine health and safety issues, as well as the potential impact of improved facilities on student learning and the physical education program required for graduation, Shaps said.

Architects are expected to present design drawings and show how to reconfigure outdated and unusable spaces, Shaps said.

The capital bond proposal would include improvements that have been recommended in three sets of previous building plans dating back more than a decade, but deferred each time, Shaps said.

" For all of these years, we have recognized the need to update our poorly ventilated instructional spaces and locker rooms, but the dollars associated with these improvements have been left out of our budgets/bonds in lieu of other instructional priorities," Shaps wrote.

A spokeswoman for the Mamaroneck Union Free School District said the range of renovation costs, and possible time frame for a public vote and construction are among the topics expected to be discussed on Tuesday.

In his message, Shaps said the proposed capital projects would :

-- Improve air quality and ventilation of locker rooms and instructional spaces.

-- Provide proper lighting, egress, doors that meet fire code, and running water.

-- Offer adequate lockers as a secure space for students to store their belongings Lockers have rusted from the inside, and students now leave backpacks in hallways.

-- Establish an appropriate and safe location for students to change for gym classes.

-- Enable MHS to house community members with adequate facilities in the event of an emergency. Currently, there is only one working shower in the entire building, Shaps said, noting that locker room showers have not been used in decades, so are used to store team equipment.

-- And ensure that bathrooms are ADA compliant.

"As with any capital project, we would work to minimize the impact on taxpayers, considering timing of favorable interest rates and thinking creatively about funding streams,'' Shaps said in his message to parents. "Because our enrollment at the high school will continue to grow, I believe it's more critical now than ever before that we pay immediate attention to our PE instructional spaces."

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