Work has officially begun on construction at the Southold School District as part of a $9.7 million dollar capital bond project passed by voters in 2015.
Administrators, students, community members and Board of Education members gathered on the athletic fields Thursday afternoon to celebrate the groundbreaking of the project, which began with the athletic fields.
Almost all of the fields will get improvements, and a track will be added around the new varsity soccer and lacrosse turf field, superintendent David Gamberg said.
“It’s my hope and expectation that what begin today in this official groundbreaking is in fact an investment into the future of the young people of Southold,” he said. “In fact, an investment for everyone.”
He continued to say the project, which includes interior and exterior work, will “improve the health and safety of our students.”
Exterior work will occur during the day. Interior work, which is expected to begin soon after the BID process is complete, will happen at night after children are let out of school, Mr. Gamberg said.
“Whether it’s the internal or external enhancements that are taking place, it is a very thrilling opportunity just to see this getting off the ground,” high school principal William Galati said after the groundbreaking, noting the enhancements will support kids academically, athletically and socially and emotionally. “The whole benefit here is to support the overall development of the child all the way round.”
Mr. Gamberg and Board of Education president Paulette Ofrias also expressed their gratitude to the community for its support during the bond process.
She said the work of included in the bond project follows the success of other major project at the district, such as the elementary school gardens, playscape and amphitheater.
“I think it will benefit not only our students, but our community as well at all levels,” Ms. Ofrias, a Southold graduate, said. “I’ve spent forever on this field playing sports, so I’m really excited about the next chapter of where our school is going to go.”
Photo: Southold students, along with superintendent David Gamberg and members of the Board of Education, break ground on new athletic fields, part of the $9.7 million capital bond project. (Credit: Nicole Smith)