LHS Building Renovation Nearly Complete

    The high school building has been undergoing construction throughout the 2020-2021 school year. As a result of a bond passed by the district in 2017, the high school was able to construct an entirely new wing of the building and renovate the existing part of the building. The district broke ground on the new extension of the building on March 12, 2020. Since then, the 33,274 square-foot extension has been constructed and, according to Principal Joseph Rainis, is expected to be fully completed and ready for occupancy after the second week of August, as construction is currently right on schedule. The “banana wing” of the high school is also being renovated and is currently expected to be completed around the same time. 

     “To be able to say in one year that we built thousands of square feet in new classroom space is pretty impressive,” Rainis said. “When you see the size of the music rehearsal rooms, classrooms, innovation center, conference rooms, and so forth, it’s going to be the most impressive thing. I’m excited to have the students and the community see the finished product,” added Rainis. 

     The new addition to the building will include a school store; new music rooms for chorus, orchestra, and band; three new art rooms; two new family and consumer sciences classrooms; a new career development classroom; two more new classrooms; and an innovation lab. 

     Rainis explained that with this new space in the extension of the building, there will be more classroom space in the main building. He said, “I think that space at the high school has been an issue for a long, long time.” There will be three classrooms gained on the third floor, and new classrooms on the second floor, as well. Rainis explained, “I really love the vision of anchoring our building in the arts and the sciences and allowing the humanities and mathematics to be the bridge of the curriculum. I think it’s a formula for success.” 

     In addition to the expansion of classroom space, Rainis hopes to examine the ten-period day over time. As the school was previously limited in space, it was limited to only the ten-period day, but the extra space provides an opportunity to look at other possibilities. Rainis commented, “The ten-period day has drawbacks: it gives many students a longer day and creates issues with regard to extra help. We’ve adjusted to them because it has been this way for a while, but I think the opportunities for uniformity and cross-curricular collaboration are going to explode.” 

     Students are excited to use the expanded facilities upon completion of the construction project. Students involved in arts programs are especially looking forward to using the new facilities, as there will be several new art and music rooms, all of which will be of higher quality than the existing rooms. 

     Previously, the chorus and orchestra classes had been held in the auditorium. The band classes have been held in the small gymnasium this year due to Covid-19, but in years prior, they were held in the band room. Now, each of these programs will have its own specialized room in the extension of the building. 

     Junior Rachel Edelstein said, “I am very excited for the construction to be complete, especially the new music facilities. The music rooms for our band, chorus, and orchestra will be beautiful. Since music is such a crucial aspect of my life, and the lives of so many other Lynbrook students, I am thrilled that the students and teachers will be able to benefit from this new state-of-the-art space.”

     Junior Emmie Paladino, a band member, added, “I’m very excited to see the new music wing. The old band room was very small, so I’m definitely ready to have a bigger space. The new music rooms are going to improve the sound quality of the band, and nicer practice rooms will encourage students to take time and practice their instruments outside of class.” 

     Junior Connor Rogan shared in the excitement: “I’m very excited for the new music wing to open. It will be very similar to the music rooms that opened when I went to North Middle, and they will really help us all become better musicians.” 

     The construction has not caused much disruption to the daily operations of the building, aside from when students and faculty were limited to using the back doors when the front of the building was undergoing sewer work, beginning on May 3. During this period, students were offered parking passes for the commuter lot behind the school, to shorten the distance they would have to walk from their cars. 

     Freshman Colette Doyle shared, “The construction has not had a big impact on the school days for me. The only impact it really had on me was the sometimes loud noises caused by the construction. Also, while the sidewalk was closed, I had to use a different door.” 

     Freshman Nora Kane offered her perspective on the construction’s effect on safety: “I think with the recent construction there have been a lot of sacrifices to student safety. The doors are now open at all times, and there is no longer a vestibule, which I think negatively impacts student safety.” 

      Rainis shared, “The safety and welfare of the students and staff of the building have been my primary concern, and the construction crew, for the most part, has done a really good job of not interfering with the operation of the building.” The concerns and obstacles throughout the construction process have been quickly addressed and adjusted to, and Rainis commended the students and faculty for their flexibility to change: “The students and staff have been absolutely amazing at the level and degree of adaptation that they’ve had to be willing to make,” he said. “We’ve asked that things change, and people have adapted very well, and the students and staff are to be commended for their flexibility.”