Constructing the Future


This past fall, the Lynbrook community voted on a bond that would allow the district to use $33.9 million in funds to renovate LHS and enhance the elementary and middle schools. The final vote took place on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2018, and 1,254 residents voted “yes” to approve the bond. Since only 767 voted “no”, the bond was passed. However, there has been no physical construction done to any of the buildings yet. The district will add two more stories to LHS that span 33,274 square feet and will add to the science facilities and STEM classrooms, create larger art and music rooms, and add a school store to enhance the Career Development Program. The gymnasiums at the elementary and middle schools will receive air conditioning units, the locker rooms at the middle schools will be redone, and the wrestling room will be updated. Principal Joseph Rainis and Board of Education (BOE) President William Belmont have confirmed the details of this project and reveal that the project will start next spring. 

At each BOE meeting, Dr. Paul Lynch, the assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, provides an update on the project. During the BOE meeting on Wednesday, May 8, the BOE voted on a contract to begin renovating the wrestling room and to install the air conditioners at the middle schools. 

Rainis revealed that the construction project, which he said will start in the spring and summer of 2020, is more than just the creation of new classrooms. He clarified that this project is part of the vision that the LHS administration has for the future of the high school. As Rainis explained, the administration is going to be “moving classrooms around to plan for what the future holds: science, technology, and art, including media technology. [We are] trying to use the traditional disciplines, which are math, ELA, and social studies, as the bridge between the fine and performing arts and sciences.” Administrators want to be able to create a school that prepares students for the future. Rainis hopes the new additions to the school, including the new student space being created, will lead to “collaborative efforts, [students] working collaboratively on things they want to know more about, and applying them for problems they see, [and] providing spaces for that, so that students continue to see that learning, how to communicate, and how to do things is valuable and will provide them with the future they want.”

Belmont explained that the project has not been started yet because before any physical construction is done, the district needs to get all of the plans approved by the New York State Education Department. This process is currently underway. Belmont also explained that the main reason for renovations is that LHS is the oldest high school on Long Island that has yet to be renovated. Rainis also explained, “Arts and science require a level of technology [that other classes do not].” The BOE has taken this into account, and therefore has decided to spend a lot of the funds adding new science facilities and labs, along with new music classrooms, and practice rooms. 

Many students at LHS are excited for this renovation. Freshman Rachel Edelstein, who is in both band and chorus stated, “I am excited for the music renovations. I feel that orchestra, band, and chorus all deserve their own classrooms. I like music and science, which is making me extra excited.” Freshman Sophia Sullivan, who is also involved in both band and chorus, explained, “I am excited because at North Middle School, the music rooms were renovated before we went, so I am excited to once again practice in renovated rooms.” The BOE has taken this into account, and, therefore, has decided to spend a lot of the funds adding new science facilities and labs, along with new music classrooms and practice rooms. 

Staff members are excited for these renovations. Library Media Specialist Maureen Bertolini stated, “I am looking forward to the modernizations that will be afforded to Lynbrook students and staff with the bond project. It is exciting that the plans include modern dynamic spaces that will allow for educational opportunities for us all to enjoy.” Also, Chorus Teacher Barry Wyner included, “I am eager [for the project to begin]. I am excited for the students to have a facility that is worthy of them and their talents. I am not sure everyone realizes how strange it is to have a high school without a chorus room. Right now, we succeed in spite of our limitations with facilities. I imagine we could have even higher results with a proper facility.”

Renovations will also be done to all of the schools in the district. The planning for this construction project is almost done; the bond has been passed to support the project, and the physical work will soon be started.