According to project managers at BBS Architects and Engineers, all school construction projects are on schedule for the coming year. The managers also presented three-dimensional renderings of the proposed additions to Garden City middle school and high school at Tuesday's meeting of the board of education.
Homestead School will receive one additional classroom on the northeast side as well as one larger, multipurpose classroom with a dividing wall to fit multiple activities at once.
"It acts as a library, an art classroom and a music room," Gary Sheedy of BBS said. "It takes on all the functions."
The project, part of the $36.5 million bond residents passed last October, will also replace windows on the entire building. The project will go to the state for approval in the beginning of January. Construction should start next summer.
The high school is receiving a similar addition, including three new music rooms specifically for band, orchestra and chorus.
Sheedy said that the high school roof would be officially complete in the next two weeks as the construction crew finishes miscellaneous work. Sheedy also said the state has approved plans for the bus garage office building, which will go out to bid shortly after the new year.
Fred Seeba of BBS said that the energy performance contract with Con Edison Solutions is going well and that Con Ed will bring natural gas into every building, except Locust, through National Grid. Locust could not support natural gas because of an issue with its piping.
"Things are going very well, we look like we're on schedule," Seeba said. "I think we're in good shape."
In light of recent reports regarding concussions in both high schools across the country and the National Football League, district physician Dr. Ronald Feinstein detailed the district's head trauma procedure.
"When I was in training 30 years ago, head trauma was mostly concerned with people getting dramatically injured and dying or either getting totally paralyzed," Feinstein said. "Over the last decade, however, there's been more interest about the long-term effects of repeated head trauma."
That interest is with good reason. Among NFL players in a scientific study about the long-term effects of concussions, players had five times the normal rate for Alzheimer's disease as well as a higher rate for traumatic encephalopathy, which is associated with early onset dementia and emotional disturbances.
Garden City institutued a policy last year that Feinstein said has worked well. Any student-athlete who shows concussion symptoms, which include confusion, headache and slurred speech, will be taken out of the game immediately. To return to the team, the athlete must receive a doctor's note from his or her personal physician. When the athlete returns, he or she must undergo five days of practice with increasing intensity. If the athlete passes each day, he or she may return to games.
"We're not following something, we're actually ahead of it," Superintendent Robert Feirsen said.
In other news, the district announced that it would be establishing a tax certiorari reserve fund starting in 2012. After 70 years of refunding over assessments on property taxes in Garden City, Nassau County recently moved responsibility to the school districts. The district's fund must be set up on a year-to-year basis and must be close to what the district estimates its liability to residents to be.