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Jan 27, 2016 10:24 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Officials Eye Hampton Road Property For Southampton School District Office

The Southampton School District is looking to purchase the building at 300 Hampton Road in the village to house its district office, which officials would call a district resource center after the move. ALYSSA MELILLO
Jan 27, 2016 11:00 AM

The Southampton School District is interested in purchasing a building on Hampton Road in the village to house its district office.

At a School Board meeting Tuesday night, Superintendent Dr. Scott Farina said that after considering several buildings for sale in the community—including the former post office, the former library and some warehouses near the train station—district officials have narrowed their choice to 300 Hampton Road, because of the building’s good condition and its proximity to the campus. There is an entrance and exit to its parking lot on Leland Lane across from the intermediate school.

“We can walk in there tomorrow and start using that space. It’s in great shape. It’s ready to go,” Dr. Farina said, adding that the current district office on the intermediate school property—which would be torn down and replaced with a green space—is in disrepair. “Many of those that we looked at, along with them not having sufficient parking or space, would need major renovations,” he said.

Owned by 300 Hampton Road Associates, the building, along with the adjacent parking lot, is on the market for $7.6 million. The district would pay for it from a capital reserve fund that currently has a balance of $8.2 million. Taxpayers approved setting up the fund in the 2009-10 school year for renovations to the bus garage, as well as a new district office. The bus garage project has already been completed.

Dr. Farina said that to help offset the cost of purchasing 300 Hampton Road, the officials are considering selling the former preschool building the district owns on Majors Path, which is now used for storage. He estimated that it would sell for about $700,000.

Because the Hampton Road building is occupied by several tenants, the district could also generate an estimated $330,000 in lease revenue in the first year it owns the building, bringing the total net cost of purchasing it to $6.5 million. The insurance agency Cook Maran & Associates, the office of architect Jason Thomas and offices for the Peconic Land Trust are currently located in the building, and Dr. Farina said many of them could remain there because the district would not need to use all of the space.

Dr. Farina and School Board members stressed that because the district already has the money, purchasing the building would not increase taxes. Voters would simply have to approve the district’s request to tap into the reserve fund.

“I cannot highlight enough that there are no new taxes in this proposal,” Dr. Farina said. “Everything would be contingent on the voter approval in May.”

The superintendent added that the building would not only house the district office, but an overall resource center that could also serve as a community hub for meetings and student tutoring, among other things. “We’re looking for it to be something bigger than just holding district office administrators,” Dr. Farina said.

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Every comment recently on this subject, thought that the Nursery School on Majors Path, that costs the district $0, other than remodeling
and expanding, would be the best fit. How about using this reserve fund to pay down our debt, or use for unforeseen emergencies?
$5-8 million is obscene.
PS we don't want a community center and more control over our children and their time and health.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Jan 27, 16 11:56 AM
That property is waaaay too small to meet the District's needs. I know you're against every decision the District ever makes, but let's be realistic. The Majors Path property would not work in the long term.
By S'hamptonNative (84), Southampton on Jan 27, 16 2:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
How much parking? handicap accessible, elevator, halls wide enough??? Looks like a money pit to me... What is wrong with majors path?
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Jan 27, 16 12:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
It's actually a beautiful space with an elevator. It's handicap accessible, and has plenty of parking. I think it's a very smart move being so close to the schools. If they can keep at least some of the tenants it's a no-brainer!
By Crazy Town (4), Southampton on Jan 27, 16 4:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
Although the story does not clearly state that the rental income at present is $330,000 per year, one can only hope this is not even close to correct. Only a school district would consider paying $7.8 million for a property generating $330,000 in gross revenue. Taxpayers deserve to know all the facts and figures.
By Doug Penny (64), Hobe Sound, FL on Jan 27, 16 5:46 PM
2 members liked this comment
In your experience, what is a reasonable amount of return a school district should expect from the building that houses it's administration....?
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Jan 29, 16 12:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
My only point was that, if this building yields $330,000 in rent (which, I repeat, the article does not clearly state), a sales price of $7.8 million is unwarranted. I would, however, venture a guess that this expense is not warranted to house an administration for a school district the size of Southampton.
By Doug Penny (64), Hobe Sound, FL on Jan 29, 16 8:35 PM
I have never heard of a school administration that generated income either.
Jan 30, 16 5:28 AM appended by KevinLuss
''school administration building''.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Jan 30, 16 5:28 AM
The Southampton School District published four possible options for a new district office on 1/26/16:
Open space within the district
New structure on current site
Lease space
Purchase existing structure
Glaring omission! No mention of Majors Path property it already owns and is being used for storage.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Jan 27, 16 7:58 PM
Dr Farina has to go, because he is totally fiscally irresponsible. The student population will be shrinking, and he wants to expand administration space to stroke his ego.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 28, 16 7:28 AM
What a waste of money
By April1 (156), Southampton on Jan 28, 16 10:34 AM
How much space is needed? How many employees are being moved? How about majors path or built at the present location?
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Jan 28, 16 11:06 AM
2 members liked this comment
Check out today's Newsday's cover story~" $CHOOL $TRESS"
1 in 5 LI districts face financial difficulties according to NYS Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli. Southampton is one of them. Timing is everything.
BTW if you cannot make in to Tuesday night's BOE meetings, you can see them on Channel 22 throughout the week at different times of the day.
The fact that the BOE isn't even mentioning the Majors Path property as a consideration, and listing pros and cons like they did for the other four ...more
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Jan 29, 16 5:29 PM
They most certainly do not list Southampton as being in financial distress, Joan. They list it as ''susceptible'' to financial distress with a ''score'' of approximately less than half of those listed as being financially distressed.

Interesting to note that Tuckahoe Common is listed as safe, with a score half of what it was 2 years ago.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Jan 29, 16 5:53 PM
Every school district, and township on Long Island are going to be in distress with pending pension liabilities. These goverments and schools better wake up.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 30, 16 9:34 AM
Hey Dr Farina maybe you read your district is on the financial watch list. This means watch your spending, and stop the grandiose dreaming with taxpayer dollars.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Feb 3, 16 7:41 PM
Remove the old office trailers, get new ones, add another unit or 2. Done.

7.6 Million for the Maran building is an obscene use of taxpayers money.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Feb 4, 16 12:12 PM