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Nov 1, 2018 2:32 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School District Office Advisory Committee Recommends Temporary Replacement For District Office

Southampton School District Superintendent Nicholas Dyno, left, and School Board President Donald King during a Southampton School Board meeting discussing the district office. JON WINKLER
Nov 5, 2018 12:40 PM

Members of a committee formed by Southampton School District officials to help come up with a plan for replacing an aging administration building—after two costly proposals to do so were rejected by voters in recent years—say that a new home for office employees is needed immediately, and they’ve found a place to put them, at least for the time being.

At a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, October 30, the recently formed District Office Committee recommended having district office staffers move to an undisclosed office building under a temporary five-year lease while a permanent plan is formulated.

While district officials would not reveal the specific location of the temporary office until a lease agreement is signed, the committee said the office is cleaner and more functional than the current office.

The committee has spent the past few months discussing and researching whether the appropriate temporary home for district employees should be at a short-term leasing property or temporary trailers.

The committee members agreed that a new permanent office was essential, but that building one could be a lengthy process, considering that it takes about two years to get proper approvals from the State Education Department, let alone voter approval of borrowing money to fund the new construction.

Nevertheless, the committee said it understood the need for a new office.

“The office is the heart of the school district,” committee member Priscilla Campbell said during the meeting. “Its adverse conditions have been talked about for decades, and it’s rapidly deteriorating. It’s cramped, and there’s little privacy available for conversations between staff, and for people looking to register their children.”

Committee member Jennifer Bockhaus discussed the possibility of having office staff in temporary trailers either by the Southampton High School tennis courts or by the garden at the Southampton Intermediate School. However, Ms. Bockhaus pointed out how the trailers would have no drinkable water or bathrooms, electricity would need to be delivered to the trailers, and the height of the trailers might bother neighbors.

Therefore, the committee investigated short-term leases of other properties.

“We wanted a warm place for people to come in and register their kids for school for the first time,” committee member Anastasia Karloutsos said. “We want visitors to feel like they’re walking into a healthy office, and want our current employees to feel appreciated and know that where they work matters.”

The committee picked out seven locations available for occupancy with a short-term lease, and considered the best option based on size, design, expense and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

While less expensive than having temporary trailers, Assistant Business Superintendent Jean Mingot pointed out that the estimated cost to rent the space would be about $220,000.

Mr. Mingot said that the funds to cover the lease would be equivalent to six months’ worth of expenses in the school budget, which could be covered through reserve funds while budget money would cover the lease.

Ms. Campbell added that committing to a five-year lease would save taxpayers between $80,000 and $100,000 instead of renovating temporary trailers to serve the needs of office employees.

She also pointed out that the five-year lease would allow the district more time to construct the permanent replacement office, which the committee agreed should be on school property.

Ms. Campbell said the committee hopes to present a long-term solution for the district office in January.

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Why not share the offices of the Tuckahoe school district or Hampton Bays school district? Good first step to merging and therefore eliminating redundant costs.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Nov 1, 18 3:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By themarlinspike (542), southampton on Nov 1, 18 5:18 PM
Need a lot less administrators. I for one don't care if the place they work is dirty. Clean it.A little common sense please.
By KentMercer (2), on Nov 2, 18 1:33 AM
replace the old trailers with new trailers, that's all that needs to happen.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Nov 2, 18 7:06 AM
2 members liked this comment
Let them practice what they preach and work out of teepees in the parking lot.
By themarlinspike (542), southampton on Nov 3, 18 9:24 AM
1 member liked this comment
For 2017, of the roughly ~$69 MILLION DOLLAR school budget, roughly $58 MILLION was spent on staff. Let that sink in.
By deepchanel (89), Hampton Bays on Nov 2, 18 9:41 AM
Get rid of the dead weight in the front office it's getting ridiculous how many people work there as the student population shrinks
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 2, 18 5:59 PM
2 members liked this comment
Classic. They take the biggest know-it-alls and put them on a committee.

This genius committee decides to rent space and deal with it again in 6 mos., thereby solving nothing.

I hope we’ve learned something.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Nov 4, 18 8:18 AM
on Majors Path the school district owns the old nursery school and at least seven acres of land Athens old Junkyard. Use that and put a bus garage and new school on same property’s
By Obserever (40), Southnampton on Nov 4, 18 7:30 PM
Probably the 5200 sf available at Flying Point Office park. Which should be the long term solution. Sign a 20 year lease, structure it right and you can shed the property taxes and spend the capital bond money raised for lease payments.

Another dips&*t with Dr. before his name, yay.
By smacw (240), New York on Nov 6, 18 8:34 PM
You people are unbelievable. All they are asking for is a decent place to go to work everyday.
It amazes me how people think that one person can do 20 jobs and do the Mmmm efficiently. The staff isn’t the issue, it’s the cheap tax payers of one of the wealthiest school district in the country. For shame.
I hope no one decides what conditions you have to work in.
By Polandspring (96), Southampton on Nov 6, 18 9:23 PM