09/27/14 8:00am
09/27/2014 8:00 AM
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The current crop of kindergarten students in the district joined the high school seniors in assisting school board president Jerry Diffley as he cut the ribbon Friday. (Credit: Grant Parpan photos)

As she walked from her car to the Mattituck High School athletic fields, Laurie Reilly held back tears.

She was headed to a once familiar track at the school, where her three grown daughters had run. But this time was different.

Ms. Reilly was one of more than 500 local residents who attended a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday evening at the school’s brand new track — an all-weather, polyflex running surface that has replaced the former cinder track that long stood at the school.  (more…)

09/19/2014 12:00 PM
The newly completed Mattituck High School track features six lanes. (Credit: Garret Meade)

The newly completed Mattituck High School track features six lanes. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Mattituck-Cutchogue school board members have officially decided against naming the high school’s new track after former Superintendent James McKenna, but decided to name the auditorium after him instead.

(more…)

08/22/2014 12:00 PM
The track at Mattituck High School. (Cyndi Murray)

The track at Mattituck High School. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

The color gold will appear on Mattituck-Cutchogue School District’s new track, but it won’t be in the form of stripes. And as for naming the new facility after recently retired superintendent James McKenna, the school board has had a change of heart. (more…)

08/01/2014 9:00 AM
A new track is under construction at Mattituck High School. The school board decided Thursday to name the track after James McKenna. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

A new track is under construction at Mattituck High School. The school board decided Thursday to name the track after James McKenna. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

The Mattituck-Cutchogue Board of Education has re-elected its president and decided to name the high school’s new track after James McKenna, who officially retired Thursday as the district’s superintendent.

(more…)

08/16/2013 2:30 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shannon Dwyer, a pentathlon veteran, working on her hurdling during Mattituck's practice on Monday.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Shannon Dwyer, a pentathlon veteran, working on her hurdling during Mattituck’s practice in March. There will be a special election in October for a track bond proposal.

The Mattituck-Cutchogue school board approved a resolution Thursday night setting a special election for a track bond proposal.

District residents will be asked on Oct. 29 to approve the proposed $925,000 capital improvement project for reconstructing the junior-senior high school’s aging cinder track, as well as purchasing portable bleachers, irrigation upgrades and asbestos remediation work inside the school.

Prior to the school board voting, the proposal had carried a $1 million price tag but was ultimately reduced after the board agreed to scale down a proposed 300-seat stationary bleacher and remove fencing work from the plan.

If the community approves the bond, school officials said the project will then go out to bid and the track work will take about two months to complete. The proposed 400-meter track will include six lanes and will require between $35,000 to $50,000 worth of maintenance work every 10 years, officials said.

School officials have said the outdated track has made it difficult to encourage other track teams to compete in Mattituck, and the school’s track teams participate primarily in away meets.

The community has debated on what to do with the track for several years and many school board members have said they believe it’s time to let the public weigh in on the proposal.

School board president Jerry Diffley said he believes holding a special election is the best way to deal with the track’s future.

“At this point, we’re just in the mindset that the public should decide it,” Mr. Diffley said during the meeting. “It’s the public’s money. It will be the public’s use not only here for the school and the athletic events that will take place with our students, but also to use as a community track that people can walk and run around.”

The school board voted 5-1 in favor of putting up the proposition. Sara Hassildine was absent from the meeting and Doug Cooper voted no.

“I still feel it’s the wrong time in this economy to pursue this,” he said after casting his vote.

Although Mr. Cooper voted against the special election, he voted in favor (along with his fellow board members) to designate election personnel and planning steps for an environmental study known as SEQRA.

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08/15/2013 4:00 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Mattituck High School track team members (from left) Anna Goerler, Tracy Grim and Caitlin Penny could only use their deteriorated home track for practice.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The Mattituck-Cutchogue school board is expected to discuss a bond proposal tonight for reconstructing the school’s aging cinder track.

The Mattituck-Cutchogue school board is expected to vote on a resolution tonight setting a special election for a track bond proposal.

District residents will be asked on Oct. 29 to approve the proposed $1 million capital improvement project for reconstructing the junior-senior high school’s aging cinder track, according to tonight’s school board meeting agenda.

School officials have said the outdated track has made it difficult to encourage other track teams to compete in Mattituck, and the Mattituck track teams participate primarily in away meets.

The community has debated on what to do with the track for several years and many school board members have said they believe it’s time to let the public weigh in on the proposal.

Tonight’s regular school board meeting is at 7:30 p.m.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda and check back later for an update.

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Mattituck School Board Meeting Agenda, Aug. 15, 2013

12/20/2012 3:43 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Mattituck High School track team members (from left) Anna Goerler, Tracy Grim and Caitlin Penny could only use their deteriorated home track for practice.

After years of pushing off a decision on what to do with the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District’s aging cinder track, the school could be poised to hold a referendum on replacing the surface as soon as next fall.

District business administrator Michael Engelhardt, who discussed a $650,000 project during the Dec. 13 school board meeting, said bonding the expense over 20 years would cost homeowners an average of $8 to $10 a year.

Mr. Engelhardt said it would likely take about three months to prepare an environmental impact statement for the project and the district would probably need to spend $15,000 to $20,000 before the vote to cover architect and legal expenses. The vote would then need to be advertised 45 days in advance.

Superintendent Jim McKenna said it has been the district’s policy to not hold bond votes in conjunction with the May budget vote, which would likely push the track vote back to the fall.

Many school board members said they believe it’s time to let the public weigh in on the proposal, although Douglas Cooper questioned the wisdom of putting the project up to a vote given the weak economy.

“I’ve been on the board 15 years, and every time it’s not the right time,” countered board president Jerry Diffley. “At some point we have to put it up to a vote.”

“Let’s do it. Let’s put it out to voters,” said Ms. school board member Janique Nine, who reminded board members that the referendum would need to be approved by a 60 percent majority.

Parent Jeanine Warns urged the board to act quickly, citing the benefits of sports to students. She also told them she and her friends would get the word out in support of the vote.

Mr. Diffley said the board would try to meet with an architect in January.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story  said “Board member Janique Nine suggested developing an in-depth replacement proposal for the track, which would need to have an all-weather surface to be competitive with nearby districts and would include bleachers and a fence to keep other student athletes from walking on the track in their cleats.” After the story was published, she called to say she believed there was some confusion and that she did not say that. We’ve edited the story to reflect her concerns. — Grant Parpan, Executive Editor