It was a COVID-safe affair on Tuesday, Dec. 15 in the faculty room of the former Remington Elementary School in Ilion. With a few signatures, $320 in closing costs and the exchange of one dollar, Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES completed its long-planned purchase of the former Remington Elementary School from Central Valley.
The closing provides stability to the Herkimer BOCES’ Pathways Academy, the Adult Practical Nursing Program and other programs.
“Finalizing this purchase that benefits students across the Herkimer BOCES region – including many Central Valley students – is something truly worth celebrating during this unprecedented year in education,” said Herkimer BOCES District Superintendent Sandra Sherwood. “We are very grateful for the strong public support reflected in the vote results. This purchase will stabilize a variety of regional programs from our 7th – 12th grade alternative education program to our adult literacy and adult LPN programs.”
The Central Valley community voted last November 256-16 in favor of selling the building to Herkimer BOCES for one dollar. Residents of Herkimer BOCES component school districts voted 611-44 to approve the purchase on Sept. 29, 2020.
Sherwood and Central Valley Superintendent Jeremy Rich signed the paperwork to complete the purchase.
“Today is the end of a long journey,” Rich said. “We shared Herkimer BOCES’ desire for a centrally located space where our region’s students and adult learners could access needed programs. We had recently renovated Remington and it was in great shape, but we didn’t need five buildings. It is a perfect fit.”
Sherwood presented Rich with an oversized one-dollar bill created by the Herkimer BOCES Visual Communications Media Arts program, representing the full purchase price.
Selling the building for one dollar is a win-win for all parties. Central Valley will receive without penalty $700,000 in state aid building aid still owed from the prior Remington building project. Any increase in the price would have been offset by an aid reduction in that amount. In turn, the Herkimer BOCES component districts receive a modern, well-maintained building for one dollar.
Herkimer BOCES began leasing Remington from Central Valley in 2013 and proposed the purchase as a permanent and cost-effective solution to its need for program space. Herkimer BOCES can now focus on converting the facility, originally designed for elementary students, into a space better suited to older students and adults.
In 2017, Herkimer BOCES and Central Valley began exploring the possibility of a sale, but the public votes were postponed twice. The first was to allow time to educate the communities about the purchase. The second was due to COVID-19 restrictions in March of this year.
During the 2019-20 school year, 212 school-aged children from the 10 component school districts and 250 community adults attended programs at the Remington building.
The building will now be known as the Herkimer BOCES Remington Educational Complex.