OCM BOCES plan shows savings and maintaining programs; needs public vote

Local News

LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES is looking to buy its longtime Crown Road campus building.

Voters who live within the OCM BOCES school districts will be asked to decide November 19th if the educational agency should end its 32-year lease for the facility and buy it for $12.85 million.

The purchase would result in no additional costs for the 23 school districts that participate in shared services through OCM BOCES, according to Deputy Superintendent Colleen Viggiano. She tells NewsChannel 9 that based on a financial analysis of the proposal, the purchase could actually save districts an estimated $2.2 million over the next 20 years.

OCM BOCES considered purchasing the site after the owner, ATRAP Corp., received a separate purchase offer this past summer for $12.85 million.

Having the right of first refusal, OCM BOCES explored its options. Viggiano says leasing and renovating another space or building a new one would be too expensive.

The districts in the OCM BOCES region are Baldwinsville, Cazenovia, Chittenango, Cincinnatus, Cortland, DeRuyter, East Syracuse Minoa, Fabius-Pompey, Fayetteville-Manlius, Homer, Jamesville-DeWitt, LaFayette, Liverpool, Lyncourt, Marathon, Marcellus, McGraw, North Syracuse, Onondaga, Solvay, Tully, Westhill, and West Genesee.

The campus offers 83,600 feet of space on 15.6 acres. It houses numerous programs for students in Special Education and Innovative Education programs at OCM BOCES.

Viggiano tells NewsChannel 9, “It’s very exciting for us because this has been our home for several years, and it works wonderfully for us. We’ve invested a lot in the space, as you saw we have some very nice specialized rooms that work for our students.”

Another piece of the plan is three acres of undeveloped land that sits right next to the current Crown Road campus facility.

Viggiano explains, “The fact that if we were to continue to grow and we needed additional space we could do it right here, which would be convenient.”

The next step requires OCM BOCES to conduct a public referendum for qualified voters who live within its 23 component districts.

Voting is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 19 at four locations:

  • Crown Road Campus, 4500 Crown Road, Liverpool
  • OCM BOCES Main Campus, 110 Elwood Davis Road, Liverpool
  • Thompson Road Campus, 6820 Thompson Road, Syracuse
  • Cortlandville Campus, 1710 NYS Route 13, Cortland

To be eligible, voters must be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years old, and a resident within an OCM BOCES component district for at least 30 days prior to the referendum. Residents do not have to be formally registered to vote, but they will be asked to show proof of residency.

Syracuse city residents are not eligible to vote because they are part of the New York State Education Department’s “Big Five” cities, rather than OCM BOCES.

Click here for more information on the project.

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