School District Breaks Ground to Replace Storm-Destroyed Structure

Long Beach administration building to be reconstructed at no cost to taxpayers

In true groundbreaking form, complete with hardhats and shovels, the Long Beach School District celebrated the commencement of construction for a new administration building that will carry no cost to taxpayers. The structure is intended to replace the former one that was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and will be built in the same Lido Boulevard location as its predecessor.

Several local and federal government officials and representatives joined members of the district’s Board of Education, administration and construction team for the groundbreaking ceremony. Nassau County Office of Housing and Community Development Storm Recovery Liaison Michael Raab, Special Advisor to the Governor for Storm Recovery on Long Island Jon Kaiman, Sen. Dean Skelos representative Tim Duffy and Congresswoman Kathleen Rice representative Max Kramer were in attendance, as were key leaders from CS Arch, Savin Engineers and Axis Construction Corporation. 

This project, which is fully funded by FEMA and the New York State Office of Storm Recovery, represents the resilience of a school district and community that endured significant damages from the storm. For the past two and a half years, district officials have worked in various school buildings; the new 7,000 square foot modular structure will bring them back together under one roof.

Superintendent of Schools David Weiss delivered welcoming remarks and expressed appreciation to all involved. “We are grateful for the support from our federal and local officials and our construction team,” he said.

Under a special “capped” FEMA program for municipalities, the District was able to keep the costs of new building below replacement value and use the savings to finance enhancements to a second storm recovery project. Therefore some of the funding for this project will also cover renovations to a flood-damaged middle school wing. Classrooms that were damaged during Sandy will be rebuilt as science labs, enabling the district to further fulfill its goals and provide students with the best possible learning environment.

Board of Education President Darlene Tangney acknowledged the efforts of district employees, particularly those in the business office. “I want to acknowledge everyone here, but especially our own staff,” she said. Mrs. Tangney also noted that the displaced staff members and those who welcomed them into other buildings were successful in creating a smooth and rapid transition after the storm. 

Mr. Raab presented the district with a citation on behalf of County Executive Edward Mangano, and Mr. Kaiman addressed those in attendance. “In years to come,” Mr. Kaiman said, “when we look at this building and the success in Long Beach, we will be able to say that New York did something in light of a huge crisis.”