CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — West Genesee High School is looking to expand and buy approximately 117 acres from their neighbor, Westvale Golf Course.
Their Board of Education held a special meeting on Saturday, Sept. 16, surrounding a contract for the purchase of the land. It would include the course (18 holes), the clubhouse and the parking lot.
West Genesee’s superintendent, David Bills, wrote in a letter to the district and community that partly reads:
The Board of Education felt this action was warranted due to the potential positive impact of this land acquisition on our district. The chance to work beyond our current property limits presents opportunities for our students and the future of our district. The location of the property relative to current West Genesee CSD and the access to both West Genesee Street and Kasson Road provides additional access points and space not currently available to us.WGCSD Superintendent, David Bills
Bills told NewsChannel 9 that they first heard there was a chance that the owners of the golf course were considering selling the property back in February.
There will be more Board of Education meetings, community forums, and even a proposition for a vote of approval on the matter.
Bills told us, “The date of a vote on the purchase of the property will be set by the Board of Education on October 4. That date is tentatively December 11 as there are processes that still need to occur; environmental site assessment, for example.”
If purchased, the land wouldn’t have exclusive use to the high school but would be useful to Pre-K through Grade 12. The course is conveniently and centrally located in the middle of the district, making it more accessible from all district buildings, and would impact all schools and all ages.
West Genesee has a few ideas on what they could use the area for, according to Bills:
- Expanded academic programming for students
- Career and Technical and Technology Program expansion (currently at WG High School)
- Transportation Facility: Zero emission standards requirements (fleet, parking, charging stations)
- Potential for athletic or fine arts facilities
- Increased parking and closer proximity to events
- Potential for outdoor/environmental programs
- Possible expansion of Universal Pre-Kindergarten programming
- Possible partnerships with the Town of Camillus
- Possible partnerships with OCM BOCES
“We are committed to growth in academic programs, expansion of experiences, and potential partnerships that could be realized through this property purchase,” said Bills in his letter.
When asked about how this purchase could impact the community, Bills explained that he thinks it [the course] will have a significant impact as it opens opportunities not currently available to them. And that the potential use of the space will serve future students and families for many years.
Financially, the $4 million spent on the 117 acres will residents and taxpayers $.022 per thousand or $2.20 for a home assessed at $100,000.
West Genesee says they are open to working with the community to listen to their thoughts, ideas, or concerns with this process and decision.
“Any work on the property will not be immediate, will similarly be presented for public vote, and has the potential impact for many years in the future,” added Bills.
They will keep everyone updated on the process as it progresses.