OR BOCES Capital Project Community Message > Warwick Valley Central Schools : Warwick Valley Central Schools

October 11, 2022

To the ratepayers and voters of the Warwick Valley Central School District:

Orange-Ulster BOCES is holding a public vote on a proposed capital project to fund renovations to its Gibson Road and Arden Hill campuses in Goshen. Voting will take place at the Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center (Board Room), 225 West St. Extension, on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Rather than expressing an opinion, this communication is intended to simply state the facts. Everyone should vote according to what they think is best.

Click here to download a copy of the OU BOCES Capital Project Newsletter, which contains additional details about the proposed project.

The reason for the referendum is that the buildings that Orange-Ulster BOCES occupies have been in poor condition for some time. OR BOCES is asking each of its constituent districts to pay its share of the nearly $159 million price tag. Each district’s financial obligation for this project is based on the proportional size of the district. Based on the total student enrollment in the Warwick School District of 3,700 students, our community’s share would be over $11 million. Currently, we have 158 students participating in BOCES programs (84 vocational and technical education students and 74 special education students).

OU BOCES has 17 component districts, and Warwick Valley Central School District is part of this organization due to cooperative buying power to lower prices, professional development, risk management, teaching vocational and technical and special education services.

To be fiscally responsible, we have created several programs (such as criminal justice, video production, cosmetology, and special education offerings) that reduce costs by reducing operating costs and student transportation out of the district. These cost savings have been significant to ratepayers over the years.

We must stress that the Orange-Ulster BOCES referendum decision was not a local school board decision. This referendum was proposed by the OU BOCES school board. While each member of the Warwick board may have their individual opinion, the decision whether or not to pass the OU BOCES referendum rests with each person who has the right to vote in the 17 districts that comprise it. The Warwick Valley Central School District School Board has no authority over whether or not this referendum passes.

If approved, the OU BOCES project would be funded at a higher amount than the last three local capital projects combined here in Warwick, which have totaled over $30 million without raising taxes. The OU BOCES project also does not receive the construction aid that the district would usually receive if it intervened on our buildings as part of an investment project. The amount of state aid is significantly lower. In this situation, Warwick taxpayers would be responsible for nearly $7 million of the $11 million. To finance the OU BOCES project, there would probably be an increase in the municipality’s tax levy. Thus, as part of the annual tax adjustments, an additional element would be taken into account to cover the cost of the $7 million spread over several years.

The estimated annual cost to the Warwick taxpayer over the next 20 years, according to OU BOCES, is around $50 per year, assuming a $300,000 home. Consequently, school taxes will increase and/or some local programs will be reduced if the OU BOCES referendum passes. However, we also recognize and appreciate the programs and support that OU BOCES provides to our district. Construction and renovation projects would begin in 2024, if approved.

Sincerely,
Warwick Valley CSD School Board

  • Keith Parsons, President
  • Dory Masefield, Vice President
  • Sharon Davis
  • Bill Fanos
  • John Garcia
  • Robert Howe
  • Lynn Lilian
  • Daniel Mahony
  • Thomas Maslanka

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