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BOE approves moving forward with Remington sale

At its regular meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 28, the Central Valley Board of Education voted to ask residents to approve the sale of the former Remington school building to Herkimer BOCES for one dollar. The board based the move on the recommendation of the advisory committee that had explored the sale and other options. The vote is tentatively set for Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Following the meeting, Central Valley Superintendent Jeremy Rich said the district is investing $44 million to completely renovate Jarvis. When Jarvis reopens in September 2020, the district will have no need for a fifth building. He emphasized that the advisory committee had looked at all of the options and determined selling to BOCES made the most sense for everyone. (read the committee’s findings)

The next step is is share all of the information with the community and to answer people’s questions.

“We want everyone to have all of the facts before they decide how to vote,” Rich said.

“We had a committee member share that once he learned the facts, he could fully support the sale to BOCES. We need our community to be fully informed before we ask them to vote.”

Sell for one dollar?

Perhaps the biggest question surrounding the sale is the idea that Central Valley would sell the building to Herkimer BOCES for just one dollar. BOCES currently rents the building to house Pathways Academy and other BOCES programs.

“One of the criticisms we hear relates to the idea we are giving a valuable building away,” Rich said.

He explained that the math supports the one-dollar sale price.

“We will receive $800,000 in building aid for prior Remington renovations,” he said. “Every dollar we receive for the sale reduces that aid by one dollar. So, if someone were to pay us $800,000, we would lose $800,000 in aid.”

In addition, without Remington, BOCES would need to build onto the W.E.B. complex in Herkimer to make up for the lost space. With almost 25 percent of the students in the region, Central Valley would be responsible for nearly 25 percent of the building cost.

“We can only estimate, but the lost building aid and Central Valley’s share of a new BOCES building would add up to well over one million dollars,” he said. “Given the deed restrictions that require the property to remain in public use, it is unlikely that we would find a buyer who would pay us enough to offset the loss of revenue, increased BOCES costs, and increased transportation costs for BOCES students.”

Best of students and community

He added that Remington’s location is ideal for Central Valley.

“We are able to keep our students local, reducing our transportation costs,” Rich said.

The location is also centrally located for the other BOCES component districts. Ilion is a midpoint for schools such as West Canada and Mt. Markham.

“It also makes sense for the neighborhood to keep Remington a school building. It will be occupied, well-maintained, and secure, which protects the value of the local properties,” he added.