Oswego School Board Updated On BOCES Proposal

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego board of education heard a presentation Tuesday on the BOCES capital project.

Dr. Joseph Camerino, district superintendent, offered an overview of the upcoming vote on the BOCES capital project proposal.

Dr. Joseph Camerino, BOCES district superintendent, updates the Oswego school board on the upcoming vote on the BOCES capital project proposal.
Dr. Joseph Camerino, BOCES district superintendent, updates the Oswego school board on the upcoming vote on the BOCES capital project proposal.

When he got to BOCES, he spent the first six months doing tours of all the buildings, he told the board.

“A capital construction project is more than mortar and bricks,” he explained. “It’s an opportunity for the community to look at the programs and curriculum and say, ‘where do we need to go with this for the next 20 years.'”

BOCES serves nearly 23,000 school-age students in Oswego County. It’s main campus is located in Mexico.

The proposed project includes renovation of approximately 196,000 existing square feet as well as adding approximately 70,000 square feet of new space, he explained.

The new space essentially replaces several buildings that are no longer suitable for use, he said pointing to images of several buildings on the BOCES campus that are no longer in use.

The main campus has a total of 24 buildings, 19 are wood structures and five are masonry/steel structures.

Five buildings are currently closed for occupancy and an additional 10 buildings have less than five years of useful life left, he continued.

The average building age is 28 years. The main building was built in 1969.

The technology department is currently housed in an old horse barn on the campus.

All work, where possible and practical, will include energy efficient measures and standards of New York State and federal energy programs.

Right now, three or four BOCES students are hospitalized but able to keep up with their course work through “distance learning,” Dr. Camerino noted.

It’s one of several programs that BOCES offers that many people aren’t familiar with, he said.

Among the additions created by the project would be 18 General Purpose Classrooms (Special Education).

A Multi-Purpose Room for student presentations, meetings, large groups, and community access.

A focused main entry area (‘Storefront’ to the community where students could put their talents on display).

And, a new CTE Heavy Equipment classroom. The HERO classroom would be relocated to main campus in order to avoid students having to walking across County Route 64.

The main building will be reconfigured to accommodate Multi-Occ and CTE programs.

The cafeteria would also be reconstructed.

Also planned in the project is improvement of vehicle and pedestrian traffic patterns to increase safety, including separate entry and exit points to reduce traffic congestion.

The net decrease of paved areas would result in less snow plowing, the superintendent added.

The vote on the proposed project is set for Nov. 12.

If approved by the voters, Dr. Camerino said he estimates State Education Department approval by January 2010.

Actual construction would get under way around June 2010.

The target date to have the project completed is December 2012.

The estimated cost for renovation and new construction is $48,431,799.

According to the superintendent, existing BOCES capital funds, totaling $1.7 million, will be used to offset the project’s costs.

“We’re estimating, very conservatively, that 90 percent of project cost will be eligible for New York State aid,” he added. “Most projects claim 95. We want to be conservative here so in case there are any issues, we are covered.”

He estimated that the project would increase the average homeowner’s taxes by anywhere from $2.34 to $34.69 per year.

More specific figures, per school district, were listed in a brochure that was mailed to residents living in the Oswego County BOCES district.

Voting will be held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at established polling places in school districts throughout the county.

Individuals residing anywhere within the Oswego County BOCES region for at least 30 days prior to the vote and who are US Citizens at least 18 years of age are eligible to vote.

For more information, contact Dr. Camerino at 963-4222.

1 Comment

  1. I think it is sneaky to have this a week and a day after the general election. They want this to push through and easily pass. After election fatigue from the national elections, the only people who will go vote on this are people who have a special and personal interest in it. I already voted no twice on the OCSD budget but still yet, I am being forced to pay for a new administrator for Dave White’s friend, and also, $4082 to Dave White’s daughter so she can be the “K-12 Nurse Team Leader,” [personal allegation removed here]. It is nothing against BOCES but enough is enough with school spending and escalating property taxes. I will be voting “no” on this.

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