POB Middle School to Serve as Storm Shelter

Superintendent Lewis assures community the school will be safe; classes will proceed.

The Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School will serve as a Red Cross shelter as a new storm closes in on hurricane-ravaged Long Island.

At the urging of Nassau County Executive the middle school's auxiliary gymnasium will be used as a shelter for victims of the  nor’easter now looming off Long Island's South Shore, said Dr. superintendent of Plainview's schools.

In the aftermath of Mangano said there is a need for many of these shelters across Long Island. Thousands remain without power and heat in Plainview and thousands more across the region.

The Red Cross was notified at about 11 p.m. Tuesday that the shelter would be open at 8 a.m. Wednesday. That caught the district, and the Red Cross, somewhat by surprise, Lewis said.

"In the wake of this unprecedented storm, it is very important for us to do all that we can to help our neighbors," Dr. Lewis said. "We have taken extra precautions to make safety of the students our highest priority and feel quite certain that the two functions can co-exist together with the greatest of care."

Lewis assured parents that the district has made adjustments to allow students to attend regularly scheduled classes without interference.

And, Lewis said community members needing shelter should enter the building at the side entrance of the auxiliary gymnasium during school hours. Wednesday night, those in need will use the cafeteria and the showers in the pool area.

The shelter will be overseen by county officials and security, along with additional security brought in by the district, Lewis said.

The Cold War-era POB Middle School served for decades as a large, sturdy complex with a pool, two gyms and a giant auditorium, the home of the Plainview Gulls.

Scrambling has been an everyday occurrence at Plainview, which only re-opened its secondary schools on Tuesday following the storm. Much of the district lost power. The elementary students returned to classes today, but Parkway Elementary Students are being housed at the where instruction is going on in make-shift classrooms, including the district's board room. Parkway remains without power Wednesday.

Questions can be directed to the district office at (516) 937-6301 or the Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School front office at (516) 349-4750.


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