At its regular meeting on Feb. 15, the Central Valley Board of Education approved a measure to extend the Remington school lease to Herkimer BOCES. The lease term will be July 31, 2018-July 30, 2023. The lease enables Herkimer BOCES to continue providing critical educational services in a central location, while guaranteeing Central Valley first rights to the athletic fields on the property.
The board acted on a recommendation made at the Jan. 24 board meeting by then Acting Superintendent Jeremy Rich. Rich had explained his reasons for the recommendation in an email to staff and in an article on the district website.
In addition to adult education programs and administrative services, Remington currently houses Pathways. Pathways is an alternative program for students who are not successful in a traditional school setting. More than one third of the 150 Pathways students come from Central Valley.
The Remington lease came under scrutiny when stakeholders raised concerns regarding a plan to temporarily reconfigure Fisher, Barringer Road, and CVA while Jarvis Middle School is closed for renovations. An alternate proposal called for Central Valley to take back Remington for two years and then to pursue its sale. Another concern was the possible loss of the athletic fields. Central Valley currently plays some JV and modified sports on those fields. Rich and the board delayed action while he fully explored the options.
After meetings with Herkimer BOCES officials and superintendents of other BOCES school districts, analyzing Central Valley finances, looking at the importance of the Pathways program, and ensuring the right of first-refusal for use of the athletic fields, Rich recommended the lease extension.
Working together through the Jarvis renovation
In his message to staff, Rich acknowledged that giving up Remington school will be inconvenient and that there are many unanswered questions concerning space allocation, transportation, etc.
He closed his letter saying, “Now I come to the hardest part. I must ask for your help seeing us through the next two years.”
“In my time here, I have watched you do amazing things for our students. You have shown me you are hardworking and resourceful. You stand up for our students, our parents, and each other. Together we can make this happen.
“Looking back, could we have avoided this? Maybe, but looking back will not change where we are. We have a capital project and state funding that require we empty Jarvis. We have an obligation to children to preserve our Pathways program. Please join me in looking ahead. We can do this—together. I am committed to being a part of the greatness that we will create. Why is greatness important? Greatness is important because the future of humanity – the kids – depends on it!”
The decision opens the way to consider selling the building to Herkimer BOCES in the future.