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During School Board Recognition Month this October, we would like to thank the members of the Herkimer BOCES Board of Education for their service and all that they do for BOCES and our students! Thank you to: Daniel LaLonde, Thomas Shypski, Jack Bono, Ronald Loiacono, Janine Lynch, William Miller, James Schmid, Michelle Szarek, Linda Tharp and Daniel Voce!
Public vote scheduled for proposed Herkimer BOCES building purchase
Sept. 13, 2017



Residents of the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES region will soon vote on whether to approve Herkimer BOCES purchasing the former Remington Elementary School building that was initially left vacant after the Mohawk and Ilion school districts merged to form Central Valley.

The special vote will take place on Nov. 14, 2017 from noon to 8 p.m. and is open to residents of the 10 Herkimer BOCES component school districts: Central Valley, Dolgeville, Frankfort-Schuyler, Herkimer, Little Falls, Mount Markham, Owen D. Young, Poland, Richfield Springs and West Canada Valley.

Voters will be asked to provide one form of proof of residency such as a driver's license, a non-driver identification card, a utility bill or a voter registration card. Voters also will be required to provide their signature and address. Voters who do not provide a proof of residence may be asked to sign a declaration in order to be allowed to vote.

Central Valley residents will vote on both whether to sell the building to BOCES and whether BOCES should purchase the building. Residents of all other component districts will vote just on whether BOCES should purchase the building. Both authorizations would have to pass for the sale to be completed.

The following are the voting locations for each school district:
  • Central Valley: Jarvis Media Center
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  • Dolgeville: High School Lobby
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  • Frankfort-Schuyler: Old Gymnasium
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  • Herkimer: High School Library
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  • Little Falls: Middle School Gymnasium
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  • Mount Markham: Elementary Cafeteria
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  • Owen D Young: Auditorium
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  • Poland: Lobby
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  • Richfield Springs: Entrance adjacent to baseball field
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  • West Canada Valley: Front Lobby

The background

When Mohawk and Ilion school districts residents voted on February 12, 2013, to merge, the plan called for the Central Valley Central School District to utilize Barringer Road Elementary and Harry M. Fisher Elementary, but it left the Remington Elementary School empty.

This created an opportunity to turn the building into a centrally located facility for educating school-aged and adult students throughout Herkimer BOCES. Herkimer BOCES has been leasing the building from Central Valley for the past four years for $92,500 per year.

Currently, the Remington building houses the education of 156 school-aged children (including alternative and special education programs) and 475 adult students (including adult nursing, high school equivalency and literacy programs).

Additionally, offices located in the building support the education of 860 students throughout the region.

The proposal

The Herkimer BOCES and Central Valley boards of education are proposing that Herkimer BOCES purchase the Remington school building from Central Valley for $1.

The Remington building has been appraised at $550,000, but Central Valley would make out better financially by selling the building for $1.

Because Central Valley is still receiving state aid for renovations completed as part of earlier capital projects, the district would lose money if it sells the building for more than $1. This is because every dollar Central Valley collects in sale price reduces the amount of state aid for which they are eligible.

Additionally, by no longer owning the building, Central Valley would no longer have to worry about insurance and maintenance concerns if anything happens to the building.

For Herkimer BOCES, owning the Remington building instead of leasing it would lower operating costs and provide long-term stability for the educational programs located there and for the programs located at the Herkimer BOCES facility in Herkimer.

The purchase of the centrally located building would help allow for the continued education of local students in a collaborative and cost-effective manner for school districts and taxpayers.

The proposed purchase of the former Remington Elementary School from Central Valley would be the first step in meeting the BOCES long range facilities plans. If the purchase is successful, in April of 2018, the BOCES will propose a capital project totaling approximately $10.2 million. The project would include renovating the health, safety and infrastructure of the BOCES complex on Gros Boulevard in Herkimer and making modest changes to the newly acquired Remington building to make it more suitable for high school and adult students.

The consequences

If the Remington school building vote fails, Herkimer BOCES can request to continue leasing the building from Central Valley. There is no guarantee, however, that Central Valley will renew the lease, so this would hinder the ability of Herkimer BOCES officials to plan long-term for cooperative education of students in the region through programs that are in high demand from school districts.

Should Herkimer BOCES find itself without a building, there are three scenarios that would be most likely:

Students would have to take long bus trips to various facilities across Herkimer County or farther away outside of the county.

A large, costly capital project would be planned to build new space for the students. The cost of this work could reach as much as $100 million.

Some programs could be disrupted or ended if there is no space available to hold the program which creates a serious problem for the home district who must provide appropriate services for each student.



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