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Peekskill Schools Prepare To Reopen Uriah Hill This Fall

Architect John D'Angelo of Fuller D'angelo, right, explained the work needed to prepare Uriah Hill Elementary School to open next fall. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Photo Credit: Art Cusano

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Uriah Hill Elementary School needs to be reopened eventually, so it may as well be next fall, Peekskill school officials announced Tuesday.

That was the message given to members of the Peekskill City School District Board of Education Tuesday night by Superintendent James Willis before the board voted to start preparing the school to reopen.

"Our student population at Woodside is becoming unmanageable, in terms of space for children," Willis said. "We had three additional kindergarten classrooms this year that we didn't anticipate."

District architect John D'Angelo of the Elmsford-based firm Fuller D'angelo told trustees that there is a significant amount of work that needs to be done before the state would approve reopening the school.

The repairs would involve addressing roof leaks, replacing 56 windows that had been destroyed by vandals since the school closed, recommissioning the plumbing system, replacing damaged floors that will involve asbestos abatement, and adding necessary security features.

If approved for re-opening, four classrooms would be used by pre-kindergarten classes on the first floor of the building, while four rooms on the basement level would be leased to a private entity to help raise revenue for the district. Both floors would have separate entryways and staircases to keep the two groups separated. Food for pre-kindergarteners would be prepared and brought in from other schools.

Renovating the building is expected to cost about $300,000, and the district has $109,000 in state EXCEL funds that it can put towards the project.The district will also seek additional state aid if available and will look to see if any of the work can be insured.

The board approved D'Angelo to begin preparing plans to submit to the state for approval by March, since the state will likely take several months to approve the work before construction can begin.

In other news:

  • The Board of education voted to combine the school's tennis teams this spring with the teams at Putnam Valley High School due to low team numbers.
  • The board also voted to approve a 30-day contract for $25,000 with Sheryl Goffman to help assist the district in updating the schools' educational planning documents from last year for elementary school students in English and mathematics.

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