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Funds Secured For New High School Press Box

School receives $60,000 in funds to fix dilapidated structure.

A much-needed makeover is around the corner for the press box located on the playing fields at Kings Park High School.

The condition of the structure was becoming such a safety issue that it was unable to be used. Budget constraints had pushed off its repair, which was estimated at about $60,000. A Hail Mary pass thrown by the Kings Park Board of Education has resulted in a $60,000 grant from state Sen. John Flanagan’s office and should cover the cost of the repairs.

“The opportunity arose for some state money and Sen. Flanagan was able to help us, said board trustee Tom Locascio. “We’ve spoken about some of our immediate needs and the press box has been a sore point for a little too long in my opinion.”

Flanagan’s office did not respond to requests for comment, but Locascio said he believed the state money was considered bullet aid- unallocated money from the state intended to make up some of the inequities of school aid.  

“It’s a point of pride,” said Locascio. “We had to put this on the back burner due to financial challenges. It is great to have a champ in Albany listening to the

 little issues that sometimes mean a lot,” he said.

Superintendent Susan Agruso, said the hope is to have it up by summer and ready for the fall football season.

KP Student May 16, 2012 at 11:47 PM
I do agree that $60,000 seems like a lot to rebuild the press box. But, I don't know anything about safety regulations and building permits and all of those logistics. Those must cost a lot. I do know this season was really tough without the use of the box, scaffolding was in the way of the football field and the sound system was unstable. I think this will be a much needed improvement!
Diane Ambrosio May 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM
I am the parent of softball players. When will money be allotted for a backstop for the softball field??? State runners-up wasn't enough to show they have a softball team at the high school? Not even a "real" score board. Lack of a backstop causes quite a hazard on a daily basis, as balls fly off the top dozens of times each game. How about some respect for Kim McGinley and her team??
Diane Ambrosio May 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM
The season "was tough" without a press box? OK
kathie plant May 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I second that! Any field, baseball or softball, should have the appropriate backstop. In the middle school, the softball field has been missing a top to the backstop for almost two years. The foul balls go into the woods, and the girls have to retrieve them. Hasn't anyone gotten the memo - tick season in full swing and poison ivy in abundance in KP! And, as Diane said, foul balls cause a serious danger to people behind the backstop, especially at the HS field. I did email the school about this, but was basically told nothing would happen. Ouch!
Cynthia Grimley May 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I am all for spreading the monies around the district - and I love sports as much as anyone - I have a child involved in sports programs. I am wondering why the monies aren't being spent on technology - an area where this district is clearly behind. I am in agreement that 60 grand on a press box is excessive.
Diane Ambrosio May 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Letters need to be written to the school board. $60,000 is ridiculous.
John from Kings Park May 17, 2012 at 01:14 PM
It IS ridiculous, isn't it? Come on! That building can't be more that 12X12' at the most! It's essentially a shed! I can build a shed twice that size for under $5000! Put it on stilts, add a ladder, some lighting & electronic equipment, total cost = $7-10 Grand AT THE MOST! This is blatant over-spending akin to the Department of Defense's $640 toilet seat and $436 hammer and the National Park Service's $797,400 outhouse. I can think of a dozen better things within the school district that $60,000 could be used for. Is this what the budget was passed for?
Diane Ambrosio May 17, 2012 at 01:20 PM
The athletc trainer and the athletic director sit in their carts behind softball's home plate and duck every time the foul balls pass their heads. They HAVE to have noticed the lack of a backstop. I am all for making the athletic fields better...all of them. But lets share the wealth. You are right...are they building a house up there?
Diane Ambrosio May 17, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Is it too late to invite Senator Flanagan to today's final softball game??? We will tell him to wear a helmet.
Guilianna May 17, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Senator Flanagan has been a very good friend to our district this year. He also helped us get a $70,000 grant for technology which is being currently used. why doesn't someone respectfully try writing to Senator Flanagan to see if he can help with the backstop situation or maybe KPY why can since they are not backing double teams at the middle school for next year. Maybe this could be the next way they could help? I think this community needs more people to be proactive to finding solutions.
Charlie May 17, 2012 at 02:23 PM
This is my understanding on the grant for the press box. A grant was secured in the amount of $60,000 thanks to Tom LoCasio and Senator Flanagan. This does not mean that the booth will cost $60,000 but that was what was secured for the project. This is not part of the KP school budget. The budget that was just passed does not have any money in it for this project and no school money will be used for this project. As for the cost, please understand that all school districts have to follow NYS rules and laws. Once a project exceeds a certain dollar amount, prevailing wages must be paid and that greatly increases the cost. It is more involved than just a shed and will have to be constructed to code. The building and maintenance guys do a great job but this is something that would have to go out to bid. The backstop issue is valid and will have to be addressed. KPY tried to fund a second softball team this year at the middle school level but there were not enough girls to warrant a second team. The money was raised already by the hardworking KPY board and the community, it may be possible that some of the money could go towards a new backstop. I will look into that possibility. Charles Leo
Guilianna May 17, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I was at several of the Board of Education meetings when many community members came out to discuss the press box. In its current state, it‘s unsafe. Agree or disagree – this is important to many people in the community. A donation was made specifically for its repair, and then Senator Flanagan came up with the rest. I believe this should be appreciated and Dr. Agruso and the board should not be mocked for their efforts, but thanked. The budget is truly a balancing act – kids’ needs, teachers’ needs, taxpayers’ needs, and throw in having to maintain the facility, it is a difficult challenge each and every year. This year, as reflected in the budget vote, this administration and this current board did great. Thanks again. So maybe instead of complaining on patch, why not show up at a board meeting and ask for what you want. Or send an e mail, Dr. Agruso always answers. If every time something gets done and people do nothing but complain instead of saying “great- let’s now try to get this,” I’m sure politicians won’t be so eager to help.
Diane Ambrosio May 17, 2012 at 03:25 PM
As I said earlier, I am all for improving ALL sports. Myself and others were told nothing could be done about the backstop. We are currently drafting letters and do plan on respectfully asking the board again why we cannot spread the wealth. The squeaky wheel gets the grease...so if some think it is just "complaining" that is their perogative. Some may not know softball has no backstop...they may have assumed they have had a complete field all these years. If someone doesn't speak up nothing will happen.
John from Kings Park May 17, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Your explanation is greatly appreciated, Mr. Leo. It's very refreshing to see an elected BOE official who is actually listening & responding to the public's questions. IMHO, Kings Park did the right thing voting you in...
Guilianna May 17, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Charlie I thought there was an anonymous person who donated $30,000 specifically for the press box. Does this mean that we now have a total of $90,000 or did the senator secure a grant for $30,000 to make a total of $60,000 to be spent on this project? I would also like to reiterate that this is not KP TaxPayer Dollars, but Donations and Grant Monies Funding this project.
Charlie May 17, 2012 at 07:05 PM
I am not aware of an anonymous donor for the press box. I thought is was just a $60,000 grant from Sen Flanagan. The BOE stated that there was an anonymous donor for the bocci (is it bocce?) court, but I do not believe there was anything else. Again, not 100%. I will ask and advise.
KP Student May 17, 2012 at 07:59 PM
It was for spectators and the Marching Band! It was hard too see the games, players, and the sound system was wonky. The games weren't the same this year as past years'.
jimmybrown May 17, 2012 at 09:13 PM
I was wondering what compliance numbers were for groundsmen...mechanics...and maintenance? If anyone has those numbers that would be helpful.IThank you.
KP Pride for Life May 18, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Complain, Complain, And Complain. "Patchers," what would you do if the Patch went away? It is a GRANT! Take and be quiet or maybe next time the good Senator will send other grant money to towns that do NOT complain. Please Jennifer Sloat, take the site down....Please, I'm begging you.
KPLifer May 18, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Well said! Especially since the biggest complainer doesn't even live in KP... But his lovely brother does.
John from Kings Park May 18, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Flagged as inappropriate. Bring that up again & I'll make sure you get banned from this site...
Diane Ambrosio May 18, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Now there are people being inappropriate? This is just a discussion forum. I was simply voicing my opinion. My letter to Dr. Agruso has already been acknowledged. A man named Dan Butler is working on the backstop situation. I hope to speak to him in the future. No need for any unhealthy banter. We are all adults.
Guilianna May 18, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I am glad the KP athletic director is going to be able to assist you and the softball team. Hopefully the backstop situation will be fixed for the safety of everyone. Go KP Girls!
KPLifer May 18, 2012 at 07:01 PM
My last comment was the least inappropriate of any comment here. If you dont like it, them complian about stuff in the town you live in, not the one you used to!
John from Kings Park May 18, 2012 at 07:15 PM
That wasn't meant for you, Diane...
John from Kings Park May 18, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Or you could mind your own business...
KPLifer May 18, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Take your own advice. You Do not live here. You do not get a vote or a say!
John from Kings Park May 18, 2012 at 08:34 PM
I refuse to get into this with you... "Never have an argument with an ignorant person. He'll drag you down to his level then beat you with experience."
Diane Ambrosio May 18, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Thank you. I hope so too.
Albert Noesei May 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Anyone know of any good boarding schools? LOL..The lies and manipulation continue......

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