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Hastings School District to Talk Facility Improvement Plan Wednesday

The meeting, along with previous input and polling results, will help shape a final proposal.

Soccer team co-captain Lee Owen thanks school board members for their work in trying to upgrade Hastings athletic facilities in early Novembe. Behind him, from left, are fellow team leaders Francesco Scioscia, Jamie Katz, Tim Spencer and Devin Nunez.
Soccer team co-captain Lee Owen thanks school board members for their work in trying to upgrade Hastings athletic facilities in early Novembe. Behind him, from left, are fellow team leaders Francesco Scioscia, Jamie Katz, Tim Spencer and Devin Nunez.

The Hastings-on-Hudson Board of Education will hold a community meeting Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. in the high school’s Farragut Complex cafeteria to gather further input on the polarizing Facility Bond Referendum.

This is the district’s second attempt to gain support from taxpayers, who convincingly rejected the $8.1 million project in October, as the bond went down with a 1,595 to 1,060 vote Oct. 22 in Cochran gym. The project’s centerpiece – a million-dollar, artificial-turf resurfacing of the high school’s Reynolds Filed – was the key reason for the proposal’s resounding defeat, exit polling suggested. 

The survey, conducted as voters left the gym, drew responses from 1,279 of them. That 48 percent, representing those who had voted for and against the bond, overwhelmingly backed every one of the proposed projects except the $1.3 million resurfacing of the high school’s principal athletic field. On that question, only 45 percent of the respondents said they favored the turf-field while 55 percent opposed it.

Among other highlights of the survey were these:

  • Cost was clearly a factor in the voting. On a scale of 1 to 5, with No. 5 meaning cost was the primary reason for their vote, 63 percent of the respondents chose either No. 3 (28 percent) or higher.   
  • Friends and neighbors were voters’ chief source of bond information (20 percent), outdistancing newspapers (15 percent) and even the district newsletter (13 percent). While partisans on both sides established an online presence during the heated campaign, community websites were named by only 8 percent.
  • More than three-quarters of the voters have children in the school now or did in the past.

School Superintendent Roy Montesano presented those poll results at a meeting of the Hastings-on-Hudson school board in November (see full presentation here). 

Polling results, along with community input from a Nov. 20 board meeting, were used to form the presentation the district will discuss with residents Wednesday night, officials said. That meeting will then be used towards a final proposal.

To RSVP for Wednesday night’s community meeting, click here

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