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Mar 9, 2016 9:21 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School District To Hold Community Forums On Purchase Of New District Office

The Southampton School District will hold a series of workshops about the potential purchase of 300 Hampton Road leading up to the May 17 ballot, on which voters will be asked to approve tapping into a capital reserve to fund the purchase. ALYSSA MELILLO
Mar 9, 2016 10:22 AM

The Southampton School District will hold a series of community forums over the next two months on the potential purchase of 300 Hampton Road, which officials have their eyes on to house the new district office.

The purpose of the forums, which will be held in the same style as those that were held on the proposed merger with the Tuckahoe School District, is to provide community members with further details about the proposal, as well as to answer any questions they may have.

The first forum will be held on Wednesday, March 16, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Rogers Memorial Library on Windmill Lane in Southampton Village, followed by another on Tuesday, March 29, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Water Mill Community House on Montauk Highway in Water Mill. The series will wrap up on Wednesday, April 6, with a forum at the Southampton Cultural Center on Pond Lane in Southampton Village from 6 to 7 p.m.

District officials announced in January that they are interested in purchasing the property at 300 Hampton Road, which 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.

District officials have said that because the district already has the money, the purchase would not increase taxes. For the purchase to move forward, voters will have to approve the district’s request to tap into the reserve fund when they vote in May on the 2016-17 budget.

The space being used for the current district office—a decades-old trailer on the grounds of the intermediate school—is in disrepair, district officials have stressed.

Superintendent Dr. Scott Farina said this week that the forums will include a brief presentation, a question-and-answer period and commentary from Board of Education members. He added that he has already presented the proposal to the Southampton Rotary Club, which yielded a positive response.

“We’re holding them just to make sure the community is informed about the proposal moving forward,” Dr. Farina said. “We just want to get it out to all corners of the community.”

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Only an hour! Let's guess the bulk of the time will be spend on the administration promoting this monstrosity with very little time left for questions from the community. Just like the League of Women Voters holding the merger meeting last year titled "Mergers: What you need to know". Should have been call "what we want you to know." That meeting was so well orchestrated that no one from the community was able to ask any questions.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Mar 9, 16 11:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
Sounds to me like this is a done deal. Much like the Fire District buying a piece of property that was shot done in a bond vote because they had money in the bank to pay cash and bypass the taxpayers wishes. How about buying new trailers and using the $8.2 on our kids? Even get really awesome trailers for a Million. 7.2 million could fund a new shop program. How many Southampton Residents own mechanic or welding businesses because of "Doc"? Or became Carpenters, Cabinet makers etc? We need this ...more
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Mar 9, 16 11:32 AM
2 members liked this comment
Based on the spectacular amount of misinformation in the comment section here, I hope people will attend. You will hear about the vast benefits of this purchase, the availability of the money that has been long ago earmarked for this very purpose and how this is easily the most cost effective option there is.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Mar 9, 16 11:54 AM
We know the correct information and we are not buying into it.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Mar 9, 16 1:04 PM
Probably because you and your family lead the posse with burning pitchforks every time the school district wants to do something.
By S'hamptonNative (84), Southampton on Mar 10, 16 10:28 AM
Gee, that's not like you and your daughter?
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Mar 9, 16 1:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
The money was set aside for this purpose before the NYS tax cap was signed into law. The tax cap is a game changer. $7 million plus is an excessive cost for an administration building in this current fiscal environment, period. Just because the money is there doesn't mean it needs to be spent, no doubt a suitable location can be found for far less. Prime real estate is about as necessary as the under utilized planetarium.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Mar 9, 16 9:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
Those that are not taxpayers in SD# 6, should not tell the taxpayers of SD# 6 how to spend their $$$$$$$.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Mar 9, 16 9:09 PM
Sorry Hampsonsseashell, as long as taxpayers in other districts are paying massive tuition $ to send their kids to SHHS, and having those kids coming home with photocopies of chapters of paperback books, instead of actual books, yes, we have a right to complain. As long as the district can't afford to send the kids home with actual books, or even e-copies of those books, they shouldn't be purchasing expensive village real estate.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Mar 9, 16 9:36 PM
I agree with what you said. The taxpayers should not be spending more money than they should on this project in this fiscal climate.
I also agree with your comments about the photocopied chapters instead of books. I also agree that SD#13 taxpayers have the right to speak up about those things. What I don't agree with is non taxpayers telling taxpayers how to vote.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Mar 10, 16 11:44 AM
Speaking up about these things is basically the same as telling people how to vote. I know we agree on this, but your comments to the other Tuckahoe resident who supports it was out of line, especially given the fact that you're on the Tuckahoe article telling his district what they should do. Tuckahoe gives Southampton money, not the other way around. That being said, Tuckahoe should have a say in what goes on in Southampton. A tax increase for you is a tax increase for Tuckahoe by way of a ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Mar 10, 16 1:23 PM
Again, please attend the public forum if you are interested in the facts instead of wild hyperbole from the perpetually virulent.

There you will learn about Wicks Law,..this requirement has the effect of increasing state and local construction costs, delaying projects and, in some cases, preventing projects from going forward at all. Previous studies estimate that the Wicks Law adds anywhere from 8% to 30% to municpal project expenses.

You will also learn why moving the administration ...more
Mar 10, 16 7:06 AM appended by KevinLuss
Like I said, Water Mill Mike, attend the meeting. There you will learn why it will NOT cost you $150/sq. foot but likely 3-4x more. Google, Wick's Law.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Mar 10, 16 7:06 AM
I am not misinformed. I saw the presentation. I have the print out.
For me, thus is just far too much money to be spending on this project in this fiscal climate. There are two properties that the school owns free and clear on Majors Path. Make one of them work or replace the old mobile structures with new state-of-the art ones. Look at how long the old one lasted~ decades! If the school population should ever significantly decrease, sell the manufactured office and move into one of the school ...more
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Mar 10, 16 11:54 AM
What is the cost of replacing the "double wide trailer" with a new one?
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Mar 10, 16 7:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
We don't know as the BOE never told us.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on May 5, 16 11:08 PM
I previously read this property kicks out $300k in annual rent revenue and they felt that would "adjust" the property down to 6.5 million - but it doesn't really work like that. CAP rates are rates of return on commercial property. You take lease PROFIT (not revenue) and divide by the purchase price. Buyers want to buy a high cap rate (10%) and sellers want to sell a low cap rate (3%). Even if $300k is pure NOI, the CAP rate would be about 4%. Think of a CAP rate like your rate of return on investment. ...more
By watermill_mike (35), Sag Harbor on Mar 10, 16 9:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
It's not a speculative real estate investment. Your comments has no relevance.
Mar 10, 16 1:41 PM appended by KevinLuss
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Mar 10, 16 1:41 PM
I'm glad then that they are spending 7.6 million in a non-speculative way then. The bottom line is it costs about $150/sq/ft to build a concrete and steel office building. 300 Hampton Rd is 12,000 sq. ft. A 12 sq/ft building would be about $1.8 million to build. There is land available elsewhere in the town (commercially available) that is $2-3 million to accommodate that size building. Personally, I don't see why they want to waste $2.8 million to "get in today". They also have their $700,000 building ...more
By watermill_mike (35), Sag Harbor on Mar 10, 16 3:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
Excellent points!
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Mar 10, 16 11:56 AM
OK , how about 2 new "double wides"? Even though the funds are there for a purchase it is still the taxpayers' money , OUR MONEY. No need to purchase prime real estate for office space!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Mar 10, 16 4:37 PM
It's already office space. Has been for years.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 18, 16 3:18 AM
A long time ago, the way people measured distance from NYC to Southampton, was to measure the mileage from Columbus Circle to Monument Square. Tonight, I measured the distance from the Major Path properties to Monument Square. It was three miles. It was two miles to 7-11. Anyone that believes that millions upon millions of dollars should be spent over a 2-3 mile commute, should have their motives for doing so, explained in detail.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Mar 11, 16 12:52 AM
Joan, please explain in detail how tax dollars that were levied 25 years ago and have been sitting in a fund, doing nothing is a good use of tax dollars. Further, you should explain in detail how this expense of tax dollars that were collected decades ago, for this very purpose costs you a dime. There are no new taxes and not a penny that needs to be borrowed. There won't be an iota of new taxes incurred. These are funds that have been collected and are doing nothing. To the extent you want ...more
Mar 11, 16 5:10 AM appended by KevinLuss
Indigenous Peoples' Day!!
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Mar 11, 16 5:10 AM
The $ reserve fund was set up in 2003, not 1991, Kevin!
Why would you want anyone reading this thread to think it was 25 years ago? Do your research.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Mar 11, 16 9:05 AM
Economics 101-
just because you have money, doesn't men you need to spend it.
Save for a rainy day.
Someone needs to be a watchdog.
BTW thought the etiquette of these comments was not to call people out by name, which you have ignored on several occasions.
Why are you, hell bent for spending my money and that of my fellow Southampton School District taxpayers although you are not one?
Merger? Administration Building?
Now you are implying, my heritage and holiday, too?
What's ...more
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Mar 11, 16 8:49 AM
Joan, my posts clearly suggest that people are free to make their own decision but that attending the public form would be beneficial if you want to get the facts. To the extent that you do not like that I cannot help you.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Mar 11, 16 10:32 AM
Joan is right. Someone needs to be a watchdog. I think it is ridiculous that this purchase is being considered. How much space is really needed? Looks like somebody wants a big fat trophy office for themselves here.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Mar 11, 16 9:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
you're probably right. Better to have those questions asked anonymously here and rely on gossip, misinformation and toxic hatred for your response than attend a public information session where you can independently seek the information for yourself.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Mar 15, 16 5:23 AM
In attendance at last night's first forum:
1 reporter from The Southampton Press
5 taxpayers
7 Southampton School District personnel including BOE trustees
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Mar 17, 16 3:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Went to the Southampton School District BOE Meet the Candidates Night tonight. Five candidate~Some comments from them; not at this time, how was this negotiated; not the right time to spend that kind of money; rather have $ spent on the children, not on administration; not sure 300/310 Hampton Road is the answer; we can use the $$$ on something else; concerned over the price; process has not been done in a fair and transparent manner; why were forums held at 6pm; if I was making an investment, I ...more
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on May 5, 16 11:24 PM