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OCM BOCES Plans Upcoming Referendum on Buying Out Liverpool Campus Lease

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A public referendum will be held later this month for residents in all 23 school districts within the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES program, in reference to a proposal made to purchase its Crown Road campus in Liverpool at a cost of $12.85 million.

Photo: OCM BOCES

OCM BOCES Deputy Superintendent Colleen Viggiano said the measure won’t create any additional costs for component districts.

She also said the purchase could save districts an estimated $2.2 million over the next 20 years, based on a preliminary financial analysis of the proposal.

The Crown Road campus offers 83,600 feet of space on 15.6 acres, with numerous programs for students in Special Education and Innovative Education programs.

It offers regular classrooms, three activity rooms, sensory rooms, a full cafeteria, a playground, and rooms for related services

“Crown Road Campus is home for many of our students, including those with special needs, who have benefited from having a well-maintained and well-designed facility that offers an optimal environment for learning,” Viggiano said.

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

Under its current lease agreement, OCM BOCES has the “right of first refusal,” a provision that gives it the right to buy the property before the owner can consider other offers.

Administrators conducted a formal cost analysis that examined three possibilities for the campus: continuing to lease, purchasing the building, or building a new school.

Those results were then shared with a group of school superintendents and business officials from across the region.

“We discussed our findings and agreed that the purchase of Crown Road would not only offer the least expensive option, it would save districts money and result in the best return on investment by discontinuing lease payments that could stretch far into the future,” Viggiano said.

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

Voting is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 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 will be required 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.

For more information about the referendum, visit ocmboces.org/crownroadcampus.

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