The ordinance would allow for the following:
- Improvement of the Lawton C. Johnston Summit Middle School including the renovation and reconstruction of classrooms, science laboratories and auditorium facilities and the brick repointing of the exterior thereof;
- Improvement of the Franklin School including the construction of an addition thereto to provide additional classroom facilities, the installation of an elevator, the installation of a security vestibule and the installation of a fire alarm system;
- Improvement of the Jefferson Elementary School including the construction of an addition thereto; and the improvement of the Summit High School including the installation of new boilers.
Mayor Ellen Dickson, a member of the Board of School Estimate, said Schools Superintendent Dr. Nathan Parker is the "driving force" behind the security plans, and assured Hurley that upcoming changes, particularly the vestibule planned for Franklin, would improve security. (Parker offered a presentation on safety and security in October.) A hearing on the ordinance will be held Tuesday, Feb. 18.
In her Mayor's report, Dickson encouraged the city's young women to attend 'Full Steam Ahead' in which she and Summit Board of Education President Gloria Ron-Fornes will co-host a half-day event dedicated to exploring STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) careers for women.
Councilman Al Dill said the recent extreme cold is taking a toll on the Summit Community Center, located at 100 Morris Ave. Earlier in the week, emergency heaters needed to be installed and Dill pointed out that while the center is intended to serve as an evacuation center, without sufficient heat, it couldn't fulfill that purpose.
In mid-November, Judith Leblein Josephs, director of the Department of Community Programs, together with architect David Rosen of The Rosen Group, presented a variety of options for the proposed renovation of the Summit Community Center. Dill urged the Council to "get something on the agenda" so a decision can be made on how to proceed with renovations as conditions continue to worsen.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, real estate developer Robert Steelman said he attended a Summit Downtown Inc. meeting in December regarding parking and stated that proposed additional parking does not solve the problem with the perception that "parking isn't good in town." Steelman added that he cannot think of a more important subject for downtown. Previously, Steelman has commented that "the combination of a poorly planned parking system and aggressive ticket enforcement is not user friendly. A parking system that is not user friendly puts downtown business at a competitive disadvantage."
Hurley said the possibility of adding between 300 and 500 cars to Summit's streets would require thinking about additional public safety demands. The councilman said it could be necessary to look at the idea of hiring police officers as the area in and around the train station is an ongoing safety concern.