Oswego School Board Moves Ahead With Big Picture School Lease Plan

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego School Board voted Tuesday night to move ahead with a lease agreement for a new site for The Buc, the alternative “big picture school.”

The vote was 5-0-1, with Board President John Dunsmoor abstaining.

The school is currently housed in the portables at the Oswego Middle School. Property owned, in part, by Dunsmoor (the Northeast Sports Complex at 80 Dutch Road in the town of Scriba) was deemed to be a suitable location for the school.

It will take legal action to determine if the property can be leased.

The school district has an upcoming date with the Supreme Court as well as the State Education Department to finalize the proposal.

Superintendent Bill Crist believes things will progress smoothly and the students will be able to enter the new facility in the fall to start the 2013-14 school year.

“We believe the Supreme Court piece will be filed within the next 10 days. And we believe the SED filing will be a companion to that,” Crist.

Neither deliberation should be that extended, he added

A committee consisting of board members Lynda Sereno, Sam Tripp, Kathleen Allen; parents Sonya Burnett and Valerie Orr; students Amber Lagoe and Brett Collins; along with teacher Mark Bankowski and administrators Crist, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Curriculum Cathleen Chamberlain and the alternative high school principal Smith examined numerous sites around the Oswego area to see where it would be possible to expand the school.

The district’s architect looked at all the possible sites and said the Scriba site was the most suitable for the district’s needs, Crist said.

An appraiser also looked to see what type of real estate was out there in comparison to this property and the amount of fair market value-lease, he added

“I can’t wait to get in there,” exclaimed Deb Smith, principal of the Big Picture School. “This is just another step along the way.”

The site was selected “on a number of factors,” including square footage, Crist said, adding that the committee’s decision was unanimous.

Improvements are being made to make the site SED compliant, Crist added.

Dunsmoor has been making some improvements to the property, he said.

One of the projects the students do involves making maple syrup and the new site’s 30 acres includes many maple trees, Smith said. “It’s really nice to know that something is being done.”

In the coming year, The Buc students will be involved in a bicycle community project.

They are asking people to donate used bicycles or parts of bicycles, the principal explained.

The school will be working Billie Crandall Brady, Oswego County Traffic Safety Board coordinator.

“Any elementary student in Oswego that doesn’t have a bicycle, will be able to get a bike through this program. Our kids are going to put them together. They’re going to do them one at a time by taking pieces from the bicycles they get donated and fix them up. At this new site, they’ll have their own garage to do that in.”