Scotia-Glenville Central School District will seek voter approval next month for a $999,000 land purchase as it looks to expand its footprint into a 7.3-acre plot of land adjacent to the high school.
District officials say they have no specific plans for how to use the land and would have to ask voters to support a building proposition in the future to carry out any development. But they said the sale offer represents a “once in a lifetime” opportunity for the district to take control of prime real estate at its backdoor.
Superintendent Susan Swartz said the district could potentially use the land to build an early-childhood center, career and technical BOCES “pod” or an alternative learning center for high school and middle school students.
Informational Meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 at Scotia-Glenville Middle School.
Voting to be held from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 9 in the gym of Scotia-Glenville Senior High School.
“This is a leap of faith, it is really about planning for the future and thinking about not today, not tomorrow but continuing to move forward,” Swartz said. “As schools change, we must change.”
The land, which fronts Sacandaga Road immediately north of the high school parking lot, consists of three parcels that contain a pair of houses, a hardware store and other assorted structures. The parcels had a combined 2015 full market value estimated at around $700,000, according to Schenectady County tax records.
The district negotiated for the current owners to clear the land of its old buildings, eliminating a cost to the district, Swartz said. She said given the size, location and condition of the land, the asking price was reasonable.
School board President David Bucciferro pointed out that owning the land protects the district from having to deal with disruptive development in the future, giving it control of its own future.
“We are so landlocked, and it gives us the opportunity to have some land to grow into,” Bucciferro said. “We didn’t feel it was something we could turn down for the district — that land won’t come up again.”
The land purchase would be financed over 15 years and would increase local taxes by 3.6 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value. For a home assessed at $160,000, taxes would increase $5.76 a year to pay for the land purchase, according to district estimates.
Swartz said if voters approved the land purchase, it would still be a couple of years before the district developed a building plan and asked voters to finance construction on the land. She said they would solicit input from the community about what the best use of the land would be.
District officials plan to hold an informational meeting at the middle school on Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. On Feb. 9, voters have a chance to weigh in on the funding question.
Reach Gazette reporter Zachary Matson at 395-3120, [email protected] or @zacharydmatson on Twitter.