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'Much Progress' Made On Malverne's Elementary Schools

Downing and Davison ready to receive students for first day of school Tuesday.

Adding to the usual unease many parents of young students experience as the first day of school approaches has been concerns about the state of the elementary school buildings that kids in the Malverne school district would be walking into on Sept. 4

But despite delays in the completion of the capital improvement projects at Davison Avenue Intermediate School and Maurice W. Downing Primary School, which the district at the Aug. 21 Board of Education meeting, both buildings are ready to receive students.

"Much progress has been made on the two schools," Spiro Colaitis, assistant superintendent for district operations, told Patch Friday.

Both buildings completed their mandatory fire inspections. Air quality tests were also conducted at both sites last week, and "both buildings passed easily," Colaitis said. Additionally, he said Board of Education President Peg O'Connor, who is asthmatic, walked through both buildings and did not have "any breathing issues."

Although one of the prime contractors abandoned the project earlier this month, Spiro said the district was able to convince him to return and finish the work. Colaitis also said the president of the teachers union, the PTA and the Board of Education toured Davison and Downing multiple times.

Trustee Gina Genti shared her observations of her final walk-through Monday of both buildings and reported back that "there has been tremendous improvement, especially at [Davison]."

Posting her feedback on the "I Love Malverne and Care About Our Schools" Facebook group, Genti explained that both buildings were professionally cleaned, adding "Davison is near spotless."

"All classrooms are ready to accept students," she stated. Although a few classroms have yet to be "unpacked" and several teachers, mostly those in the new wing, did not have access to their rooms to set-up prior to the holiday weekend, every room does have tables and chairs.

Although the kitchen at Downing passed its fire inspection, it still needs to be unpacked and the kitchen at Davison is set-up, but food has not been delivered, so calls went out to announce cold lunches for week one only. 

The libraries at both buildings are still not ready, but the district warned parents that they wouldn't be at the August board meeting, explaining that they would be closed off but students at both schools would be receiving "library on-cart" until the rooms are ready. "We won't lose out on instruction," Colaitis assured.

Also, the district is still waiting for some furniture deliveries and needs to still set-up the reading and computer rooms at both buildings, and install smartboards at Davison. Also, not yet available, according to Genti, is the English as a Second Language room at Downing, and the art and band rooms at Davison, which are expected to be complete very soon.

"Services will be limited initially but in a short period of time it will be business as usual in improved facilities," Genti added.

Marcus Grier September 04, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Who was the architect, construction manager and the prime contractors involved in the work? Are the projects not complete because the scope of work increased? Did the school district make the payments to the contractors timely? Could the scope of work be completed logistically within the timeframe alotted within the contract?
Tara Conry (Editor) September 04, 2012 at 12:38 PM
On Sept. 16, 2011, Patch reported that the school board approved the following contracts: "Sigma to perform construction at both schools, JNS Heating Services and Xtraire Inc. for mechanical work, Hirsch and Co., LLC, for plumbing and Ambrosio and Co, Inc., for plumbing and Relle Electric Corp. for electrical work at both sites. They also hired Savin Engineering, to serve as the construction management firm, acknowledging that two representatives for the company live within the Malverne school district in Lakeview." I do not have an answer for your two other questions but will follow-up.
Terry Carmen September 04, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Why did the contractor walk off the job?
Gerry Henshaw September 07, 2012 at 04:23 PM
A five or ten minute walk thru for an asthmatic who had "no breathing issues" is whole lot different than a ten year old sitting in his classroom all day ... please dont insult our intellligence with an absurd comment like that ... the classrooms were in fact dusty & sure enough my son had a full blown asthma attack last night after only two days of school ... Mr Colatis should be more careful about his assesments of what is deemed acceptable conditions & what air quality tests were done & passed "easily" .... CLEAN THE CLASSROOMS PROPERLY!!!!
joe bertone January 08, 2013 at 09:43 PM
contractor did not walk off job work was complete as far as it could go until the gc who was behind on the project caught up i.e. no windows no floors building wasnt tight for the rest of the work .
joe bertone January 08, 2013 at 09:47 PM
there were changes to contract that required added time and material delayed acceptance of scope created delays also the cg had not performed his scope so the mechanical contractor to continue his work
joe bertone January 08, 2013 at 09:48 PM
payments were not made timely
joe bertone January 08, 2013 at 09:50 PM
check certified payroll to see the amount of work done early on then waiting for access till school ended plus more lawyers will handle the rest

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