By Dan Hust
JEFFERSONVILLE April 20, 2001 Sullivan West Central School Superintendent Mike Johndrow was in high spirits yesterday, as a long-awaited dream came true.
This is great news for Sullivan West! he said. Were very excited. This is concept becoming reality. Weve been waiting for this.
Johndrows elation derived from the fact that, after several tense months, he and the school board finally heard back from the state education department regarding their plans for the new Sullivan West High School in Lake Huntington.
The states stamp of APPROVED came in Tuesday, and the bidding process officially began. Sealed bids from various contractors are due on May 17, and on June 16 (if all bids come in under the $49 million project cost approved by voters), Turner Construction Company will break ground and begin the yearlong process of building the new 134,000-square-foot building.
School officials had been worried that state approval would not come in time to begin building the high school before the next school year thus delaying the opening by a full year but now there is already a Turner field office trailer situated at the end of Crestwood Road on property neighboring the schools and owned by former Lake Huntington resident Bill Boucher. (To be joined by up to six more, said Johndrow, the trailer is not charged anything by Boucher he only asks that the land be returned to its original condition when the company is done with it.)
To be located off Route 52 overlooking the hamlet of Lake Huntington and its namesake body of water, the two-story school, when opened in 2002, will cater to several hundred 9th-12th graders and staff from throughout Sullivan Wests 200-square-mile district which encompasses virtually all of western Sullivan County.
District voters approved the building last year, which was the result of another vote held the year prior which authorized the merger of Delaware Valley, Narrowsburg and Jeffersonville-Youngsville central schools into Sullivan West.
State aid on the building, though not as high as initially indicated by school officials, will pay for roughly 70-80 percent of the costs of high school construction. Johndrow said more concrete numbers will be available shortly.
The three existing schools in Callicoon, Narrowsburg and Jeffersonville will simultaneously undergo renovations starting this summer, so the entire district is preparing for a tremendous amount of rigorous and at times, uncomfortable infrastructure activity, said Johndrow.
Were moving 100 9-12 Narrowsburg kids over to Jeffersonville, he said by way of example, mainly to free up space in Narrowsburg to do the renovations.
This is big, he added.
For more information on the project, Johndrow welcomes calls at 482-4610, ext. 258.