Peekskill’s new alternative education program is expected to open in September on the second floor of the high school after a multiple space shuffle, the Board of Education was told Wednesday night.
Joseph Mosey, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said the new 21st Century Learning Center would be established in space currently occupied by the Pace program. Pace, a small-group form of alternative education featuring mainstreaming and some technology for classes of 8-10 students, will relocate to two large classrooms near the center of the second floor. Those rooms will be converted to three smaller Pace classrooms. The current computer labs will become regular classrooms, and the computers will be relocated in a wing of the updated library/media center, where consolidation of books will open up space for them.
The school board is scheduled to tour the changing spaces June 5 to gain greater familiarity with the physical aspects of the projects.
Meanwhile, selection of teachers and about 40 students for the Learning Center is under way, with particular attention to students who are not on track to graduate on schedule.
In a related construction matter, Gregory Sullivan, assistant superintendent for business, told the board that state Education Department approval had been received that day for projects covered by the $3.16 million bond issue approved by voters in May 2011. The bonded projects include cafeteria and kitchen renovations at Peekskill High School, retaining wall repair at Oakside Elementary School and security upgrades at all district buildings. The state previously rejected the district’s efforts to include in the bonded projects the renovation of space in the Administration Center to accommodate the 21st Century Learning Center, prompting a scramble to identify space for it in the high school.
Prospective contractors will be invited to tour the construction sites May 29 before submitting bids. District officials plan to open the bids June 13 and award the contracts during the board meeting June 19.
If the cafeteria work is not completed by the reopening of school in September, the backup plan is to prepare box lunches in the vacant Uriah Hill building and transport them to the high school until the new facilities are ready.