10/16/14 6:00am
10/16/2014 6:00 AM
Mattituck's new track is officially opened Sept. 26. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Mattituck’s new track is officially opened Sept. 26. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

To the editor:

Being the principal of Mattituck-Cutchogue Junior/Senior High School allows me the privilege of being surrounded by students, families and community members on various occasions throughout the school year. One of my fondest memories will certainly be the homecoming festivities of Friday, Sept. 26. (more…)

06/04/2014 10:00 AM
Mattituck senior Desirae Hubbard competes in the 200-meter dash at the Division Championships last month at Connetquot High School. A new track is scheduled to be installed at Mattituck. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Mattituck senior Desirae Hubbard competes in the 200-meter dash at the Division Championships last month at Connetquot High School. A new track is scheduled to be installed at Mattituck. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Now that its school board has selected a contractor, the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District is gearing up to construct a new high school track.

The first round of bids were rejected in April because they were too high, said Michael Engelhardt, the district’s business administrator overseeing the project’s finances.

On Monday, he said Corazzini Asphalt and CAC Contracting of Cutchogue was awarded the contract May 15 after submitting the lowest bid.  (more…)

01/15/14 1:34pm
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Greenport School District athletic director Jim Caliendo, right, and high school principal Leonard Skuggevik at an August public forum discussing the school’s new track program.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Greenport School District athletic director Jim Caliendo, right, and high school principal Leonard Skuggevik at an August public forum discussing the school’s new track program.

The Greenport school board is expected to appoint three track coaches at Wednesday night’s regular meeting, according to the agenda.

Superintendent Michael Comanda has made the following coach recommendations for the current school year:

• Maria Troise, boys varsity track

• Michael Gunther, girls varsity track

• Pamela Foote, junior high school boys and girls track

Over the summer, local parents started a fundraising campaign to get the school’s track ready for competitions by soliciting volunteers and donations.

For the past two years, Greenport track players have practiced in Mattituck, although the districts maintained separate track teams. Greenport school officials have said that since an agreement with Mattituck ended at the end of last school year, there was no time to plan and budget for reconstructing their own school’s track.

Since then the Southold School District, which didn’t have a track team, agreed to join Greenport in its efforts and the neighboring districts created a combined track team for this school year. Although the cinder track won’t be ready for home meets, players will be able to practice there and compete in away meets during the spring season, which starts in March.

In addition to donations, state Senator Ken LaValle secured additional aide for the districts’ joint-project last fall.

The school board is also expected to accept a $2,500 donation from Suffolk County National Bank for the track program.

Athletic director Jim Caliendo said construction remains on schedule and he’s excited for the season to begin. He also said he’s proud of the grassroots effort, which was done by residents, local business owners and the district’s maintenance workers.

“We’re good to go,” Mr. Caliendo said. “I’m very happy. The community has been outstanding.”

Scroll down to view the complete agenda. Check back for an update.

Greenport school board meeting agenda, Jan. 15, 2014.

12/14/2013 10:00 AM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO  |  The existing cinder track at Mattituck High School.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | The existing cinder track at Mattituck High School.

Less than two months after Mattituck-Cutchogue School District voters approved a $925,000 bond to fund a new track at the high school, administrators announced at Thursday’s school board meeting that the project has already run into some unforeseen problems.

District business administrator Michael Engelhardt said the district has been hit with $30,000 in costs because the makeup of the soil under the existing track is “not compactable.” About 2 1/2 feet under the entire length of the track needs to be dug up and refilled before the new all-weather, polyflex track is installed, he said.

However, the surprise isn’t expected to put the project over budget, as funds to pay for the extra work will be taken out of the bond’s $120,000 contingency budget, Mr. Engelhardt added.

School board member Doug Cooper said he’ll reach out to Southold Town officials and find out if they’re interested in purchasing the removed soil and use it to fix some dykes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

As for the track’s color, Mr. Engelhardt said there’s four choices: black, green, red and blue.

Although many school board members’ ears perked up when he mentioned blue was a choice (since the school’s colors are blue and gold), Mr. Engelhardt suggested they go with a different color because the shade of blue the track comes with is more like a baby blue. He added red is the most popular color for track facilities.

Although the school board didn’t make a color decision for the track Thursday night, it did approve an agreement for finance advisory services from Munistat in Port Jefferson Station and a $6,800 contract to secure a rating from Standard and Poor. Both measures will help the district get a better rate on the bond, Mr. Engelhardt said.

In other school board news, 11 new athletic coaches were hired. Most notably, John Amato has been picked to coach varsity boys lacrosse.

Last month, parents protested the board’s decision not to hire controversial coach Mike Gongas for the post.

No one spoke during the public comment portion of Thursday’s meeting about Mr. Amato’s appointment. The board also approved hiring him as a substitute teacher and a teacher assistant, as well as a long-term leave replacement special education teacher assistant from January through June.

The rest of the new coaches hired for the current school year include: Mathew Litchhult and Steve Vandood as junior high girls basketball coaches, Meghan Cereola as varsity girls lacrosse coach, James Hoeg as volunteer assistant girls lacrosse coach, Kelly Pickering as varsity softball coach, Kim Gerstung as junior varsity softball coach, Steve DeCaro as varsity baseball coach, Gene Rochler as volunteer assistant baseball coach, Michael Huey as varsity boys tennis coach, and Cory Dolson as junior varsity boys tennis coach.

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08/19/13 5:00pm
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | From left, three Greenport freshmen — Nick Wallace, Justin Bracken and Bayron Rivas — during Monday's practice.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | From left, three Greenport students — Nick Wallace, Justin Bracken and Bayron Rivas — during practice in March. The school is planning to restore its own track in time for the upcoming school year.

Greenport school officials will hold a public meeting Thursday to discuss the district’s progress with restoring its track in time for the upcoming school year.

The grassroots campaign started when the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District recently ended its agreement to allow Greenport students to practice on its facilities. For the past two years, Greenport students have practiced in Mattituck and both districts have participated on separate teams. [Last week, Mattituck announced it will hold a special election in October for a track bond proposal].

The Southold School District, which currently doesn’t have a track team, has agreed to join Greenport in its efforts and plans to create a combined “Clippers” track team with Greenport this upcoming school year, Greenport Superintendent Michael Comanda said Monday.

He said the track will need to be completed by December in order for it to be ready for the track team to practice on this spring. Although the team will be able to practice on the track this season, its meets will all be hosted elsewhere.

Greenport school board president Heather Wolf and Lisa DeLuca, a Greenport parent helping to organize the plan, said in a letter addressed to parents and students that the school is committed to providing a facility for track athletes and some local contractors have offered to help with the project.

“The administration and school board, along with Greenport’s new Athletic Director Jim Caliendo, have been scrambling to enlist community members to help restore the practice track at Greenport,” Ms. Wolf and Ms. DeLuca wrote. “Since the announcement from Mattituck was made in the spring, there was no time to plan and budget for this.”

In addition to refurbishing the track, they said equipment needs to be purchased and coaches hired.

Mr. Caliendo, district administrators and school board members will be on hand at Thursday’s 7 p.m. meeting at the school to discuss the future of Greenport track.

[email protected]