Rye Neck Schools broke ground for the two-story Collaborative Science Center and middle school gymnasium during a ceremony on March 10. The celebration was attended by administrators, teachers, students, Board of Education members and community members.
“The groundbreaking symbolizes the community’s commitment to excellence in education, giving our students the opportunity for learning to take place in a beautiful campus setting,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro said. “The anticipated state-of-the-art facilities will expand, enhance and enrich the learning environment for our students, benefiting generations of Rye Neck students. A special thank-you must be given to the Rye Neck community for its ongoing support of its schools.”
The Collaborative Science Center will feature eight classrooms/labs, designed and equipped for science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The open, flexible spaces will encourage collaborative teaching and learning. Building the new middle school gymnasium – which will feature lockers and bleachers and host modified sports and other special events – will eliminate chronic scheduling bottlenecks across campus. In addition, building the middle school gymnasium is key to ensuring that high school students gain full access to the Collaborative Science Center to strengthen their credentials for college admission and eventual career opportunities.
During the ceremony, Board of Education President Pietro Fasolino addressed the audience and thanked the community for its continued support of the schools.
“Thank you to our facilities committee and to previous Board of Education members for their time and dedication over several years to get us to this point,” Fasolino said. “To our dedicated administrative team led by Dr. Ferraro and [Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance] Dr. Kim Bucci, thank you for your unyielding efforts in support of our district.”
Student Senate President Juliana Silva provided the closing remarks to the ceremony, thanking members of the community and administration for making education a priority.
“As the project builds, both figuratively and literally, we are excited to continue working as partners with the administration and the rest of the student body in ensuring this project comes to fruition to benefit all students in the Rye Neck Schools,” Silva said.
The projects are part of Phase 2 of the district’s approved capital project and will greatly enhance the quality of education that children and the future generations of Rye Neck students will experience. In 2018 voters passed two spending propositions – to replace and repair school roofs and to build a Collaborative Science Center and middle school gymnasium. The first phase of the capital project – the roof work – was completed in 2019 and came in under budget by about $1.2 million. In 2020, voters authorized the district to apply the $1.2 million in savings from the roof work to the second phase of construction and authorized an additional $2.9 million in borrowing capacity to ensure that sufficient funds will be available, if needed, to complete the science center and gymnasium.