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School Official Responds to Davison Avenue Construction Concern

Spiro Colaitis, Malverne's assistant superintendent for district operations, says statement made on Facebook regarding bond work at Davison Avenue School is incorrect.

An official for the Malverne School District is saying that it was an "unforeseen condition" and not human error or negligence that resulted in construction workers removing the concrete they had placed at Davison Avenue School recently.

A member of the "I Love Malverne But Want More From Our Schools" Facebook group had posted this message on Dec. 1: "Where is or was the construction supervisior for the work being done at Davison Avenue School? It is my understanding that the foundation was done incorrectly and not up to code and now has to be redone. Where are the people in the district who are supposed to be overseeing the spending of the taxpayers' money when all this was happening?"

When questioned about this information, Spiro Colaitis, assistance superintendent for district operations, said the statement was incorrect.

"First and foremost, the building is on schedule to be complete by Aug. 12, and will absolutely be constructed to code," he told Patch Friday. "We have inspectors onsite in addition to a design team and a construction manager ensuring the construction is done correctly."

Spiro explained that there was an "unforeseen condition" at the site, a change in the construction that could not have been picked up in the design phase. This required the contractor to remove the concrete footing and replace it with piles.

"The only way this condition can be picked up is when the construction begins," he added. "It is unfortunate when people without the proper knowledge make incorrect assumptions and pass them along."

The construction at Davison Avenue School began in late September. It is part of a $14.1 million, two-proposition bond that residents approved in the fall of 2010. The construction work for Proposition #1, which includes renovations at Davison as well as Maurice W. Downing Primary School, is being handled by Sigma Builders Group. They are working under the supervision of  construction management firm Saving Engineering. Other contractors working on the project include JNS Heating Services, Xtraire Inc., Hirsch and Co., LLC, Ambrosio and Co, Inc., and Relle Electric Corp.

When the project is finished, Davison will have seven new classrooms, a new science classroom, new music room, new special education room and new principal's office. It will also have an elevator and ADA access ramp, new toilets, a renovated cafeteria and upgraded kitchen.

Downing will receive four new classrooms, a new health office, three new support spaces, a new principal's office, as well as a renovated cafeteria with kitchen upgrades, new toilets and an expanded library.

Gina Genti December 05, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Today I asked Spiro to include "unforseen conditions" in his weekly report to the BOE if those reports were not going to come from the construction manager taxpayers hired to perform in that role. I did so because there was no report on the issue at Davison or the field flooding at the HS in his reporting. His response to me was "Per protocol regarding questions, this matter has been referred to the Board President". Spiro's current salary is $140,000 plus.
Jack Tulley December 06, 2011 at 02:21 PM
I believe Mr Colaitis, answered your question, and agreed to get the board the information via the BOE President not directly to you and because you didn't like his answer for some unknown reason you put his salary into your comments. Rather unprofessional and uncalled for. One has nothing to do with the other. I think it's a case of "Sour Grapes" since you have pointed out several times you were not happy with him being put in charge of the project.
Gina Genti December 06, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Jack I have to disagree on several points. First being there are no sour grapes and in fact Spiro is not managing the project. Savvin Engineers is the construction manger on the project and my point to Spiro was if Savvin is not providing the reports as we understood they would, then Spiro should make sure the information is accurate and reflects enough information that we can answer questions put to us by residents. If you were at Malverne HS on Thanksgiving morning you might better understand my feeling on this. Secondly, and more importantly in my opinion is why a request for more information about a 9 million dollar taxpayer funded project needs to be referred to the BOE President. Does she approve or disapprove the request? Below is the text of the e mail I sent Spiro. I hope this helps explain what I was asking for going forward and why I think it is in the scope of Spiros salaried role and not the BOE. As for the salary, it is no secret and easily found on multiple NYS websites. All the best, Gina Genti
Gina Genti December 06, 2011 at 02:49 PM
E mail request referenced above Spiro, I am glad to see we are paying attention to the "I Love Malverne but..." page and that you were able to correct the false information. I am wondering why this weeks project update from your office did not include the information about the unforseen condition and also the information regarding the flooding issue at MHS. I appreciate your weekly reports but if they are not going to come from the CM could you please offer enough information so that if we are asked about it from community members the BOE trustees can appear to have knowledge of what is going on. Thanks in advance for your cooperation. Also, please give me the name of the CM at Savvin. Gina Genti
Jack Tulley December 06, 2011 at 03:10 PM
In my sales position I am keenly aware of what can happen when the chain of information for specitications or product questions is not adhered to and whoever asks a question gets a direct response without all other parties being notified. Some people get some information and some don't, oft times resulting in misinformation and a confused and often messy situation. For Mr. Colaitis to put information requested into a specific channel for information is the right thing to do, which in this case is the BOE President. You still leave unanswered why you needed to put his salary into your comments. It seems to serve no purpose other then to be inflamatory, and not factuual to the question and issues at hand.
Gina Genti December 06, 2011 at 03:23 PM
Jack I was asking for more thorough reporting in the weekly report from Spiro that is distributed to the entire BOE every week since the project began, not through the BOE President, but by Central Administration. I referenced his weekly report and in addition I already had the HS flooding information because I spoke to Spiro the Monday after Thanksgiving and he directly answered my question without having to refer to anyone. I wasn't asking for anything we have not all received weekly. I inserted his salary because his response was not in line with that of an Assistant Superintendent making $140,000 annually based on past practice, protocol and professionalism.
Gina Genti December 06, 2011 at 06:01 PM
I guess it's okay for our administrators to respond to an anonymous FB post via the media regarding bond construction and issues that may arise but it's not acceptable for the BOE to expect the same consideration.
Concerned Resident December 07, 2011 at 01:30 AM
Why expand the 4 year old Downing library?? PTA raised funds to move the library and combine with computer room with the reassurance that there was enough room. Library is not supported by administrators nor some board members. A shared clerk and a shared librarian shows that the district does not support the benefits of enriching students and staff with current literature. Is the expansion needed to house meetings and luncheons. Who was responsible for the layout and the use of PTA fundraising for this.
Chuck mangellino May 25, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Grow up.
Chuck mangellino May 25, 2012 at 01:50 PM
You'd better serve yourself and your community by holding business accountable these days rather our government.
Chuck mangellino May 25, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Businessman, I am glad to see we are paying attention to the "I Love America but..." page and that you were able to correct the false information. I am wondering why this weeks project update from your office did not include the information about the unforseen condition and also the information regarding the last 30 years of graft and corruption. I appreciate your weekly reports but if they are not going to come from the Press could you please offer enough information so that if we are asked about it from citizens the Congress can appear to have knowledge of what is going on. Thanks in advance for your cooperation. Also, please give me the names of the bastards on wall street. - Public servant
Chuck mangellino May 25, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Your comments are childish and punitive. http://malverne-westhempstead.patch.com/users/gina-genti/photos#photo-6077634
Chuck mangellino May 25, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I guess it's okay for CEOs on wall street to respond to an anonymous FB post via the media regarding bond construction and issues that may arise but it's not acceptable for public servants to expect the same consideration.

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