In December 2016, voters in the Merrick Union Free School District approved the district’s capital improvement bond referendum by a vote of 361 to 167.
The project addresses the need for major repairs and renovations at all schools, the addition of air conditioning in all classrooms and an extension for Chatterton School. Periodic updates on the progress of the bond projects will be listed on this page.
November 2021 Update
On October 26, heavy rains caused flooding in the front loop of Lakeside. Maintenance crews started pumping the water early and by arrival time the area was open.
The painting and repairs of the exterior walls at Administration has been completed.
The contractor, Mt. Olympos, who is responsible for the renovations at Birch and Lakeside continues working on punch list and open items. They have only 5 workers each night between the two buildings. The punch lists continue to be many pages. The district, District’s architect, BBS, and construction consultants, School Construction Consultants, had a zoom meeting with Merrick’s attorney regarding Mt. Olympos. Mt. Olympos is past the completion date and continue to do unacceptable level of repairs.
July 2021 Update
As part of the bond referendum approved by voters in 2016, additional construction work will begin this summer at buildings throughout the district. This work was slated to be completed last summer; however, it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Improvements include:
- Construction of quarantine rooms at all three elementary schools so school nurses can isolate sick students/staff. This includes improved ventilation.
- Replacement of classroom casework in identified locations where the casework is beyond rehabilitation at Lakeside and Birch.
- Refinishing of classroom casework including sanding, repainting and installing finishes at Lakeside and Birch.
- Renovation of the computer and STEM rooms at Lakeside, including new ceilings, flooring, lighting and casework.
- Replacement of numerous classroom sinks and cabinets at Lakeside and Birch.
- Restroom renovations at Birch, including the creation of a gender-neutral bathroom and the renovation of the women's bathroom.
Should funds be available after the completion of the above work, additional work may be completed after further discussion with the Board of Education and greater community. Possible projects include the renovation of the main offices at Lakeside and Birch, with work to be completed next year.
The district once again thanks the community for its support of the bond, which has funded numerous capital improvement projects over the past five years.
Facilities Update: November 2020
At Lakeside, exterior light poles have been installed and unit ventilator/air conditioning projects are reaching completion. Upcoming work includes cleaning the existing light basins and replacing the windows in the gymnasium. Additionally, at Lakeside, the district is working with contractors to begin construction on the proposed center island walkway.
Additional windows to be installed include the replacement of Chatterton's emergency escape casement
The Chatterton addition is complete and was opened to students at the start of the 2020-21 school year. The 5,800 square foot addition provides a second multipurpose room for the school, as well as space for the school’s academic intervention services. These include occupational therapy, physical therapy, and reading and math interventions.
The district celebrated its completion with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 6.
Facilities Update: Summer 2020
While school buildings were closed to students and staff to contain the spread of COVID-19, school construction work was exempt from the pause and work continued in accordance with safety guidelines established by New York State.
Site work for the Chatterton addition is complete. Doors, safety glass and locks were recently installed and a fire inspection is being conducted. Upon passage, the district can request a certificate of occupancy from the State Education Department for the addition.
Air conditioning and classroom bathroom renovations at Birch, Chatterton and Levy Lakeside, along with the Chatterton casework projects, have been completed. Controls for power door operators at all three buildings to meet ADA compliance were connected, and new electrical panels have been installed at Levy Lakeside to accommodate the new air conditioning system.
Birch and Levy Lakeside are receiving new asphalt and sidewalks, and the parking areas are being redesigned to improve traffic flow during arrival and dismissal.
Districtwide window replacement projects, including the installation of operating windows for the Levy Lakeside gymnasium and window security film on all first-floor classroom windows (all schools), is also underway. Classroom casework bids at Birch and Levy Lakeside are under review.
Winter 2019-20 Facilities Update
The Chatterton School addition is ahead of schedule and nearing
completion. The space includes a large all-purpose room (pictured) that
will be used for special programs, assemblies and certain physical
education activities. The school hopes to begin using the space this
Throughout the district, classroom bathrooms were
renovated over the summer and fall, with Levy Lakeside School bathrooms
most recently completed. New unit ventilators were also installed
Facilities Update: Fall 2019
Significant progress was made over the summer, with steel, exterior masonry, electrical, plumbing, and heating/ventilation duct work all having been installed. The roof and window frames have been installed and the glass is due shortly. Permeable pavers were also installed at the site, and the construction fence has been relocated to provide an emergency egress route from the existing portion of the school building. Site work (masonry work) in and around the addition is underway.
At Chatterton, new classroom casework (cabinets) and music and art room casework were installed. Chatterton’s nurse’s office was also renovated to accommodate an ADA bathroom, as were some classroom bathrooms for compliance.
Throughout the district, classroom bathrooms were renovated, including classroom sinks and faucets. New or rehabilitated classroom casework, along with multioccupant, faculty and nurse’s bathroom renovations at Birch and Levy Lakeside, are scheduled for next summer.
The new unit ventilators have been connected districtwide. Air conditioning piping installation is underway. Upgraded electrical service is being installed at Levy Lakeside (new wiring and a new transformer).
Cubs Cave is open and in use. Air quality was tested and is free of detectable mercury vapor. A new vapor barrier, concrete floor, vinyl multiuse gym floor, wall padding and drapes were installed prior to reopening. All areas of the room were thoroughly cleaned.
August Facilities Update
The Chatterton addition is moving along, as the general contractor has installed the exterior brick and has begun to install roof blocking. The electrical contractor has been installing circuit breaker boxes and wiring, and some heating/ventilation ductwork has also been installed. Waterproofing is also taking place around the original foundation as part of the project.
The first delivery of classroom casework (cabinet systems) arrived in mid-August. Classrooms with existing walk-in coat closets have been renovated. Closet walls have been removed to create additional space, including greater storage, in these rooms.
Multi-occupant bathrooms and faculty bathrooms have had new tile installed and some fixtures have been replaced. Bathroom ceilings are also being refurbished and new lighting is being installed. The school nurse’s office is also being redesigned to accommodate an ADA bathroom, as are some classroom bathrooms.
Levy Lakeside School
The electrician is preparing for the installation of the upgraded service at Levy Lakeside School. In addition to new wiring, a new transformer is being installed.
Cubs’ Cave (Lakeside)
Work is moving along in the Cubs’ Cave. Drapes, wall padding, ceiling tiles have all been removed and disposed of as well as the rubberized and concrete floors. A new concrete floor was recently poured. JC Broderick, the District’s environmental firm, has been monitoring the work.
Throughout the district, bathrooms are being renovated as walls are being repaired and new tile and flooring are being installed. This includes expansion of some classroom bathrooms for ADA compliance. Plumbing supply and drain piping is being relocated in the ADA bathrooms.
New or rehabilitated classroom casework, along with multi occupant, faculty and nurse's bathroom renovations at Birch and Lakeside are scheduled for next summer.
Old unit ventilators were removed and all suspect material uncovered during their removal was tested and abated as needed. Delivery of new unit ventilators, originally scheduled for July, was delayed. The initial shipment arrived in mid-August. The president of the unit ventilator company traveled to Merrick from Texas to personally discuss with Merrick administration the reason behind his companies production delay and his efforts to expedite delivery to the district.
Ventilator installation is scheduled to begin shortly and the district is taking steps to ensure that all classrooms are properly ventilated for students when they return.
Since construction will continue up until the very start of school, an outside cleaning vendor will be hired to assist custodial staff to ensure there is no construction debris, particles or dust present and that every space is cleaned thoroughly prior to the Sept. 4 opening of school.
July Facilities Update
A major addition at Chatterton School (pictured above) is moving along. Over the last few months, steel has been erected, roof decking has been installed and the masonry work is well underway. Perimeter masonry blocks (exterior walls) have been installed and interior blocks are currently being installed. The district’s electrical contractor has been working with the masonry contractor on the installation of new electrical conduits and switch boxes to accommodate the addition. Plumbing work, including the installation of underground gas lines, has begun. Interior door frame installation is also underway.
As work continues at Chatterton, mastic (adhesive) that holds older ceiling tiles in place is being removed as needed, as it contains asbestos. The district’s environmental consultant will be on hand to monitor this work to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Classroom bathroom renovations at Birch, Chatterton and Lakeside schools are well underway, as old ceramic tile floors, walls and plumbing fixtures are being removed. New ceramic tile is being installed in numerous bathrooms.
HVAC upgrades are moving along, as well. Cabinets which connect new unit ventilators have been delivered to all three schools, with the new ventilators expected to arrive in mid-August. Old unit ventilators at Birch, Chatterton and Lakeside schools have been disconnected. Abatement work was performed on some fittings and elbows on the old unit ventilator at Lakeside prior to its removal. Electrical upgrades at Lakeside are also underway.
Cubs Cave Update
A contractor has been hired for the removal of the Cubs Cave flooring and concrete at Lakeside, with work commencing the week of July 22. Numerous items will be disconnected, cleaned and removed prior to the floor being removed. Negative air pressure will continue to be brought into the space to assure no vapor enters other spaces within the school. The environmental consultant is also monitoring this work during the restoration process.
June Facilities Update
Steel has been erected, roof decking has been installed and masonry work is underway for the new Chatterton School addition. Plumbing work has also begun as roof drain piping, vent piping and domestic water lines have been installed. The installation of underground gas piping is also underway.
Following completion of the steelwork, the electrician checked all conduits and confirmed that they are intact as planned.
After meeting with district officials, contractors for the toilet renovations and heating, ventilation and air conditioning system installation at Birch, Chatterton and Lakeside schools have confirmed that this work will begin as soon as school is completed. The prime contractor for Chatterton casework and toilet renovations for Phase 2 of the project also confirmed work will commence once school is adjourned for the year.
Teachers and support staff have been busy boxing up their materials in anticipation of the upcoming work.
May Facilities Update
During the recent spring recess, the district’s general contractor completed mastic asbestos removal from the Chatterton School basement ceiling. The district’s environmental consulting firm monitored the work and tested the area to ensure air quality prior to students returning from the break.
Also, during the break, the district’s electrical contractor completed the installation of underground conduits to accommodate the school’s new addition. Due to New York State academic testing, all construction work was placed on hold for the week after the break to allow students to concentrate on their exams without any potential noise distraction. Now that testing has been completed, the general contractor is installing an aggregate subbase within the building footprint as the final step before pouring the concrete floor within the foundation. Municipal Testing Labs is scheduled to check the compaction of the fill prior to concrete installation and will sample the concrete as well. A concrete pumper truck will be on site for the placement of the concrete.
The mason has installed new panels on the exterior of Chatterton’s all-purpose room as well as a third coat of the masonry stain. The district will be sampling a less transparent product to more thoroughly cover streaking that results from this process.
The district opened bids for Chatterton School casework and toilet renovations Phase 2 on May 7 with the goal of awarding bids on May 21.
March Facilities Update
Weather has affect the progress of exterior construction; however, the footings, foundation and piers for the Chatterton addition have been installed. The soil was also retested during this work and remains in compliance with state environmental standards. Follow-up concrete testing will be done in anticipation of the exterior walls being built. Electrical service installation is underway to accommodate the new addition.
Installation of new panels for the Chatterton All-Purpose Room is anticipated to begin shortly.
Districtwide HVAC/Restroom Renovation
Contracts are being drawn up for the projects awarded for new heating/ventilation/air conditioning systems and classroom and restroom toilet renovations at Birch, Chatterton and Levy Lakeside schools. Contractor paperwork is being reviewed by the district’s attorney and insurance company. The district has received approval for Birch and Chatterton school casework and restroom renovations.
Districtwide Telephone System
All school office phones have been converted to the new phone system, and training on the new equipment is underway. Many of the classroom phones are also active; some troubleshooting is taking place to address specific lines. For the remainder of the school year, teachers can use the new phones as they become proficient in their use. Several more data drops will be installed along with hardware to connect fax machines.
February Facilities Report
Work on the Chatterton School addition continues as the site is being prepared for construction. The district general contractor for the addition recently removed an abandoned drainage pool and backfilled this area with approved fill. The site for the new addition has been excavated down to virgin soil . All excavated fill has been tested and is in compliance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation standards. An abandoned drainage pool was also removed from the area and backfilled with DEC approved fill.
The district’s environmental firm monitored the air at the site and reported that no dust or particulate matter entered the building while soil was being moved. Blankets have been installed over the foundation footprint and the contractor will use a ground warmer in order to begin pouring footings and foundations as the weather permits. Inclement weather and cold temperatures have slowed progress to this point.
The masonry contractor has also been installing new metal panels above the south windows of Chatterton’s all-purpose room.
Restroom and HVAC Systems
Bids have been awarded for air conditioning and classroom restroom renovations at Birch, Lakeside and Chatterton schools.
Districtwide Telephone System
CORE BTS has installed classroom telephones and identified various locations where data drops are required. Installation of these drops is underway. Once completed, the remaining phones will be installed and once completed, the district will begin switching over to the new system.
January Facilities Report
Chatterton Masonry Work
All major sitework at Chatterton School, including masonry work in the front of the building, has been completed. The masonry contractor recently installed the roof hatch and gravel stop, and the safety bridge at the front entrance has been removed. The mason will apply a third coat of finish on the cast stones once temperatures rise to the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.
Excavation for the construction of a major classroom addition at Chatterton began in late December. The general contractor has installed the required walls to provide emergency egress for nearby classroom (19) and a wall prohibiting access to the construction area located to the north exit doors in the 40s corridor.
Sewer connections and roof drain connections were completed over the holiday break. A new line was connected to a previously broken line. In total, 20 drain pools have been installed (as required by Nassau County based on the new and existing space). Five drain pools that were either filled. abandoned or were serving as roof drains were removed.
Exterior filters for classroom unit ventilators have been ordered and are expected to arrive by mid-January, at which time installation will begin.
Further major construction at Chatterton will be limited until the forecasted temperatures are well above freezing.
New Telephone System
Classroom telephone installation is underway and all three schools will be completed by mid-January. Once classroom phone systems are complete, various school offices will be addressed.
Restrooms and HVAC Systems
Contract documents for air conditioning systems and classroom restroom renovations at all three school buildings have been posted for contractors. Bids are due Jan. 25.
November/December Facilities Update
Chatterton Field and Sitework
At Chatterton School, major sitework projects have been completed and minor punch list items are currently being addressed to close out this portion of the work there.
The Chatterton field has been regraded. The masonry contractor has installed parapet metal coping which the architect called to be replaced. Replacement of the roof hatch has also been completed. The contractor has restored the eagle above the main entrance and necessary repairs to the entrance are being made, including installation of new stone. The safety bridge will remain at the Chatterton front entrance until all masonry restoration is completed.
The bid opening for the Chatterton addition was held on Nov. 1, 2018. Bids have been accepted and vendors are in place for all four major components of the addition (general contractor, HVAC, plumbing and electrical contractors). Initially, the district’s attorney notified the low bidders for plumbing and electrical that their bids were not complete and therefore they were disqualified.
Metal exterior panels for the all-purpose room are scheduled for delivery within days and the contractor has begun prep work for their installation.
Temporary construction fencing is being erected over the next few weeks in the area of the new addition and in the rear of the property to accommodate construction vehicles. Excavation is expected to begin shortly.
The district retained the services of environmental consultants JC Broderick & Associates to perform soil analysis in the area where the new addition will be constructed and where drainage pools will be installed. The analysis ensured that there were no hazardous contaminants in accordance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation criteria for permissible levels of contaminants. Schools have the same criteria as residential use. None of the results pertaining to Chatterton exceed permissible residential use levels, and in fact are well below.
According to DEC standards, any excess soil from the project that must be removed from the site must be classified as unrestricted use (by raising of livestock) or otherwise subject to a disposal fee. One pesticide was found to be slightly above the unrestricted level but well below the permissible residential use level. The architect had included an allowance for any disposal cost incurred in the bid documents. Soil tested where the drainage pools will be located has been categorized as unrestricted, and will not require an extra expense.
Once the addition project commences, JC Broderick will be onsite performing air monitoring during the foundation excavation to ensure that students and staff are not affected by any dust developing from the construction. Once the district is satisfied that the excavation will not cause a concern, mason block work will commence. Air monitoring will continue during foundation construction. A filter will be placed on the exterior to the air intake for the unit ventilator units to address any potential concerns.
The general contractor and plumber are also working together to relocate existing underground sanitary lines identified in the area of the addition.
Telephone System (districtwide)
New telephone cabling has been installed in most district locations. Additional cables will be installed in several locations at Birch and Chatterton (areas have been identified). The contractor will be providing a schedule shortly. Data collection is complete and training is underway in anticipation of the new phone system rollout. New phones are being inventoried in preparation for installation.
October Facilities Update
Chatterton School’s new playground and basketball court have officially opened to students! Playground equipment and the rubber surface installation were recently completed and cleared for use following inspection. The color coating for the blacktop area around the playground as well as the basketball court surface were also recently completed.
Final installation of equipment was delayed due to some parts that were not delivered in the original shipment of equipment. Once this was realized, the manufacturer’s representative sent the missing parts via overnight delivery. Three new benches were also installed at the playground.
A safety bridge remains at Chatterton’s front entrance until stone finishes are completed. This will provide a uniform appearance for the cast stone surrounding the school entranceway. A masonry company is also scheduled to inspect the north and east side of the school’s gymnasium to repair and fortify the area to stop and prevent the infiltration of water.
Bids have been advertised for the Chatterton building addition project, with the official opening of bids scheduled for Nov. 1, 2018.
Districtwide (Phone Systems):
New cabling will also be installed throughout the district buildings for greater telephone access. Levy Lakeside has already been inspected and locations for new lines have been identified to ensure all areas of the building have telephone access. Merrick maintenance staff members have installed telephone mounting boxes and have confirmed all areas of Lakeside are covered. An internal inspection is also being conducted at Chatterton and Birch to arrive at solutions for uncovered areas in those buildings. Much of the equipment for these upgrades have been received by the district.
Chatterton Playground Opens for Business
Joined by Merrick School District officials and Chatterton’s PTA Co-President, Chatterton School Principal Dana Bermas cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the school’s new playground. She invited the entire student population and faculty out onto the playground to celebrate this festive occasion.
The new playground includes slides, bridges, climbing ropes, multiple towers, a seesaw and a rock-climbing wall. A colorful, soft rubber surface has also been installed on the ground below and around the new equipment.
Just a few steps away, students are also enjoying newly constructed and painted basketball courts and basketball hoops. This winter the fields just east of the playground will be regraded and planted in time for the spring.
Special thanks to the group of students, parents and staff members for their input into the design of the new playground and the Merrick community for its support! We are thrilled to be able to have this wonderful space for Chatterton students and the Merrick community to come together!