Hampton Bays School District will apply for grants

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Hampton Bays School District officials announced Tuesday that they would apply next month for three grants, including a $20,000 grant that would fund a study on school district consolidation.

At Tuesday’s Hampton Bays School Board meeting, District Superintendent Joanne Loewenthal said the $20,000 grant, if secured by the district, would fund a study that will examine the potential benefits of consolidating school districts within Southampton Town. The grant money would come from the New York State Department of State.

“Hampton Bays is willing to talk consolidation with any of our neighbors,” Ms. Loewenthal said Tuesday night, noting that most of the discussion on consolidation has gone on “behind the scenes” so far.

Ms. Loewenthal said her school district is also applying for a $400,000 grant, also from the Department of State, to fund a purchasing agent position within the district. The purchasing agent would be charged with buying shared commodities, such as heating fuel, with multiple groups. The proposed purchasing consortium includes 12 school districts and three municipalities, and the potential purchasing agent would work for the entire consortium, Ms. Loewenthal noted.

The final grant the district the district intends to apply for totals $20,000 and, if secured, would fund a study that examines the feasibility of hiring part-time Southampton Town Police officers as security guards for Hampton Bays schools.

Ms. Loewenthal explained that the district must apply for the three grants before January 14, 2009, and officials would not know if they secured the money for at least another three or four months.

Jessica DiNapoli

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