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Renovations Under Way At Ed Center To House Buc School

OSWEGO, NY – As the new school year inches closer, work continues to get a new school site ready for nearly four dozen students.

The Oswego school board wants to maintain and enhance the alternative “big picture school” (The Buc), which is currently housed in the portables at Oswego Middle School.

Work is under way at the Ed Center as crews began shifting offices earlier today (Aug. 16).

“We did get an OK from State Education Department Facilities regarding the facility meeting their codes and requirements to use as an instructional building. Due to the final decision regarding aidability on the lease (not aidable), the decision was made to go in a more cost effective direction and again review existing facilities,” Interim Superintendent Gary Mix said today.

“Yes, we are moving into the beautiful accommodations at the Ed Center,” Deb Smith, The Buc principal confirmed. “We are very fortunate to have such picturesque rooms in which to house our school. We are VERY happy to have such a wonderful opportunity -we have a patio and much more.”

Mix had high praise for the program.

“When I heard about the Buc School, and we had approximately 40 or 45 students, I was pretty impressed. To make that level of commitment to some of our most vulnerable students, some of our most at-need students very early in the summer is impressive,” he said at this week’s school board meeting. “We’ve talked about the projected increase of approximately 60 students. I truly respect the board of education to go through a process that is kind of an uphill process from the beginning; it reflects your level of commitment to the students.”

“At this point, we are looking at internal facilities to house the Buc School. Primary location right now is the Ed Center. I think we can accommodate that with some minor renovation work,” he added.

After “a lengthy and comprehensive process” to identify possibilities as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each possible location to house a successful and growing educational program, the Oswego City School District Board of Education directed the administration to review existing school owned facilities for the location of the Buc School.

The administration reviewed several options and decided to recommend the conversion and necessary relocation of several rooms at the Ed Center, Mix said.

According to Mix, several of the factors leading to this decision include:
Cost effective.  This will provide for maximum utilization of an existing facility without any rental fees.
Housing the Buc School helps to connect to the primary purpose of the district; providing quality education for all students. Having the Buc School located in the Ed Center will be a daily reminder of our primary purpose and strengthen relationships between students and district office personnel.
The Ed Center provides a location that is both suitable for smaller classes and separated from our traditional school environments.
The Ed Center location lends itself to the internship component of the Buc School program.

The Buc Junior-Senior High School is being placed on the terrace level and use the board room, as well as the technology technician’s space, the custodial room will be an office as will a current storage room. The room used this past year for the suspended students tutoring will also be used by The Buc.

Earlier this year, property owned, in part, by board member (and past president) John Dunsmoor, the Northeast Sports Complex at 80 Dutch Road in the town of Scriba, was deemed to be a suitable location for the school.

However, it failed to get the needed approval.