Shelter Island School leaders seek grants for septics to keep repair fund from drying up

Although the Shelter Island School District has money in hand and is committed to paying for its septic system upgrade expected to get underway next spring, it’s looking for additional grant money.

The effort is to keep from depleting its repair fund.

To avoid having to do that, Superintendent Brian Doelger, Ed.D., is meeting with town grants consultant Jennifer Messiano Higham to explore what grant opportunities might be available.

The project is on the cusp of being shovel-ready, a significant factor that helps to secure grants.

“Any money we get from the grants would be extra money in the bank for the district,” Mr. Doelger said.

In September, representatives of BBS Architecture of New York City and Patchogue updated the Board of Education on the septic project that is expected to cost $800,000, plus another $77,500 for some inside work necessary to keep existing grant funding. The inside work involves door replacements in the lobby area and in the gym and both are very much needed, Mr. Doelger said. In both cases, the existing doors were showing signs of deterioration.

Permit applications for the project are being submitted to the New York State Education Department and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. Between now and the beginning of January, the firm is preparing bid specifications with the hope of awarding contracts for construction in February.

In the previous months, the BBS representatives have reached out to Fuji, manufacturer of the septic system. Fuji discovered some changes that needed to be made it the system it was designing for the school so that not only would nitrogen content be reduced but a high ammonia level would also be addressed.