Southold school board notes: Lunch program, energy performance and NJROTC

Not so fast.

That was the recommendation from Southold Superintendent David Gamberg about ditching the district’s hired food service company in favor of setting up a self-operated lunch program.

Mr. Gamberg told Board of Education members at the May 25 meeting that he wants more time to consider the self-operated system and talk with personnel from Aramark, the company currently providing school food service.

Aramark is in the process of improving its service and menu, adding a Boar’s Head cold cut sandwich option to the menu, the superintendent said. He said he wants time to meet with Aramark personnel and to monitor changes over a period of several months.

Although the board agreed, Scott DeSimone, who led the effort to gather information on self-operated systems in other districts, expressed skepticism about keeping Aramark.

“Four years ago they made a lot of promises and kept none of them, so they have no credibility with me,” Mr. DeSimone said.


A long-pending energy performance contract with Johnson Controls could finally get under way this summer.

Under the agreement, the company guarantees that the cost of making various energy-saving changes to the facilities will be more than covered by the savings achieved.

Southold will save an estimated $96,238 per year in energy costs over the next 18 years as a result of the changes, which are expected to cost $1.5 million, according to Dan Haffel, Johnson Controls’ director of business development.

If his calculations hold, that means that the district will net almost $200,000 in cash flow above the cost of the work. Johnson Controls guarantees the savings and, if they’re not realized, makes up for any loss.

Delays in getting the program rolling resulted from the State Education Department’s review and approval of the plans.

Changes include retrofitting light fixtures, weatherizing doors so heat doesn’t escape, installing a 5K photovoltaic renewable energy system, replacing steam traps, insulating hot water heater pipes, installing pedal valves on sinks, installing and window films to prevent heat retention in the summer and reflect sunlight back into rooms in the winter, and installing of a small wind turbine.

Work is due to being in July and be completed by February 2012.


Much of the meeting was devoted to celebrating the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, which was recently named the best in the nation.

Beyond their obvious performance at drills and competitions, the community service they render “brings tears to my eyes,” said board president Paulette Ofrias.

“Success leaves clues,” Mr. Gamberg said. He wants to look closely at what the corps is doing and determine if that can be applied to other aspects of the educational process.

And while Major William Grigonis and Senior Chief Charles Turner insisted it was all about the cadets and the hard work they do, Ms. Ofrias told the program leaders the success is based on the example they and instructor Petty Officer First Class Felicity Turner set for the students.

“You’ve done so much with so little,” retiring board member Dr. Robert Walsh said. He noted that the North Fork program bested many units around the country based in larger and wealthier communities.

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