OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Education Center’s move into a section of Leighton Elementary School is getting closer to becoming a reality.
With the Education Center up for sale, and potential buyers kicking the tires, district officials are getting things in place to facilitate the move, according to Dr. Dean Goewey, superintendent.
The plan is to relocate the offices into part of Frederick Leighton Elementary School. As part of the move, renovations are also being planned for Oswego High School, across the street from Leighton.
The district received authorization from the voters in 2009 to establish and fund a capital reserve fund.
The board now desires to obtain approval from the voters to appropriate money from that fund for specific purposes to be authorized by the voters (the renovations to FLS and OHS).
There will be a special district meeting (vote) on Jan. 10, 2017, at the district’s designated polling places. Polls shall be open from noon to 9 p.m.
On Jan. 11, the board will hold a brief meeting at 9 a.m. to accept the results of the vote.
There will be two propositions to consider on Jan. 10.
The first: Shall the board of education be authorized to appropriate funds from the district’s capital reserve fund in the maximum amount of $750,000 and to expend those funds on the following purposes – renovations at Oswego High School and renovations at the Frederick Leighton Elementary School.
The money would be replaced upon sale of the Ed Center.
The second proposition is: Shall the board of education be authorized to sell for the highest offer, in accordance with the board’s fiduciary duty to obtain the best possible price, the district’s interest in one unneeded building and parcel of real property located at 120 E. First St., Oswego, (the Education Center), at a price for said parcel to be approved by the board and upon such other terms and conditions as the board may require including the right to reject all offers.
“On Jan. 3, I will lay out and talk about what those propositions are. The public can come and ask questions about that,” Dr. Goewey said. “It’s important for them to vote yes on the first proposition because they need to have a voice in the direction the district is taking financially. And, they have already spoken once about this exact matter. The voters approved to sell the Education Center previously.”
Now, more than ever the need exists for the district to get out of the Ed Center and start repurposing its schools better, the superintendent said.
“We’ve outlived the use of this building. Because our enrollment has dropped so significantly we can occupy a wing of a school and put (the Ed Center) back on the tax rolls,” he said.
District officials have met with some potential buyers and the meeting “was very favorable and we’re excited about the prospect of selling the Ed Center before summer,” Dr. Goewey said.
“We met with King and King. They are putting together a detailed proposal for the board to review. It will give schematics, a breakdown of all costs relative to … the restructure of the Oswego High School main office, one is the relocation of our technology infrastructure and staff and the third is the Leighton renovations,” he said. “We have not sold the building yet. But everything that can be done at Leighton has been done.”
Lynda Sereno, board president, pointed out that the district is being completely transparent about everything it’s doing.
“We are putting everything into print for the people to know; as up to date as we know. The particular administration is being very cognizant of transparency. So anything we know, they’re going to know,” she said.
The district will roll out a brand new website that will also enhance the public’s knowledge of what is going on within the district, the superintendent said.
The Ed Center will be in a wing with its own separate entrance, the northeast wing.
“At the end of that corridor that we’re going to occupy, there will be a wall constructed and a set of doors that will operate on a card key.
That way people coming to do business at the Ed Center will be unable to enter the school from there. The Leighton staff, however, would have access to the Ed Center, the superintendent explained.
The Ed Center will occupy the parking area that is currently gated, he said, adding, “That way, were not interfering with student and staff parking at the high school.”
The district will hold a public hearing at the Education Center on Jan. 3 (time TBA) at which time the propositions will be explained. Questions and comments from the public will be entertained by the board and district administration.
For more information, contact the Superintendent’s Office: (315) 341-2001 / [email protected]