Alissa Scott/Recorder staff Children play in the gymnasium during summer camp at the former Clara S. Bacon School Friday in Amsterdam. The school may become the new home to the Central Administrative Building for the Greater Amsterdam School District, which now exists at 11 Liberty St. Structural damage may cost more than moving to a new location. The district would also put pre-K students and possibly alternative education students in the building.
By ALISSA SCOTT
Recorder News Staff
The Central Administrative Building for the Greater Amsterdam Central School District may soon have a new home.
The building, which was built in the 1970s, has accrued normal wear and tear over the years.
"The roof does leak," Superintendent of Schools Thomas Perillo told the school board during its Wednesday meeting. "The boiler isn't really operating at efficiency; it's old. The rooftop units need replacement and of course, the building is not (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant."
The board received a cost estimation list of all the renovations the building needs that could cost between $500,000 and $700,000.
"Having said that, do you want to put that kind of money into this building or explore an alternate site for the central office that may offer the opportunity of having a funding stream and building aid?" Perillo asked the board.
As of now, the building only houses offices. No classes or student programs are held there.
"Any alterations or repairs we make to this building here, 11 Liberty Street, would come out of the general fund because there are no students here and there is no funding stream," Perillo said.
Kent McHeard, vice president of the school board, raised a point made at an earlier meeting of moving CAB to the former Bacon School on Henrietta Boulevard.
"Just to refresh everyone, what we have talked about is a move to Bacon and it would involve a couple of things," Perillo said. "Number 1, we would have a rental. Number 2, we did talk about putting students up there, namely our pre-K. That's our funding stream."
With students in the same building as the central office, federal aid would be applicable to the entire building, not just the rooms for student use, Perillo said. The current number of pre-kindergarten students enrolled in GASD would generate about $1 million in building aid, he said.
"We're also in the process of looking into our alt. ed. students because that will also be able to generate more of a funding stream," Perillo said.
Robert Vennett, a new board member, asked if there would be enough room for the offices and students in the Bacon School.
"We walked through with the architect," Michael Greco, project manager, said, "and just roughly, square footage wise, there's enough room for the pre-K and we're renovating 13,000 square feet, which doesn't take the whole school into consideration."
There would also be room for alternative education students, but Perillo said he's continuing to look into whether they would be able to receive funding from moving them there.
Board President Nellie Bush asked what would happen to the current central office. Perillo said this district would most likely sell it, though Vennett jokingly said he wondered who would want to buy it with all the problems it has.
"I think it's reasonable to at least look at," McHeard said. "Bacon is one option. I don't know if there are realistically any other options available to us apart from purchasing another building, which is not reasonable."
The current room that houses the GASD board meetings sits a couple rows of seats for the public, but McHeard said a larger space would be beneficial for the community.
All the other board members agreed that it's something they would like to look into.
Perillo said moving to the Bacon School is the only option the central office has, because no other buildings in the district could house them.
The board decided it would like the architect and crew to explore a move to the Bacon School and asked them to create an estimated budget.
Those numbers will be presented to the board by its next meeting in August.