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Oct 10, 2017 2:00 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School Officials Begin Process To Look Into New Administration Building

Southampton School District Officials are looking for public input on how they can move forward with replacing the trailers they use for administrative offices. GREG WEHNER
Oct 11, 2017 12:34 PM

The Southampton School District administration has been operating out of a 5,000-square-foot trailer located beside the intermediate school on Leland Lane since 1971—a move that was intended, at the time, to be a temporary solution, for three years at most.

Today, nearly a half century later, with a growing need for more space, the Southampton School Board wants to revisit the idea of a new administration building and is reaching out to the public to get input on how to move forward.

At Tuesday night’s School Board meeting, at the intermediate school, district officials were presented with what needs to be done to address the situation, which has grown worse as the number of students and teachers grew, as did the number of departments and staff.

Roger Smith, an architect with the Patchogue-based firm BBS Architects & Engineers, presented board members with three main options: building on school grounds, purchasing a property with a building already on it that fits the district’s needs, or purchasing a property big enough to construct a nearly 12,000-square-foot building.

Despite whatever option is ultimately chosen, Mr. Smith said, it will take approximately two years to construct, from approval to completion.

Choosing to build on school grounds could be the quickest route to get an option in front of the public for a vote in May 2018. Mr. Smith explained that purchasing a property involves negotiating a price and going through the standard two-phase inspection process, and State Environmental Quality Review Act process, making the timeframe uncertain. Choosing to build on district grounds would eliminate the unpredictable negotiation process, speeding things up.

In order to build or use an existing building, the district would need around an acre of land, according to Mr. Smith. That acre would be able to facilitate a building as well as an appropriate number of parking spaces to allow for parking for staff and visitors.

After the presentation, Pam Spellman of Southampton asked board members about pricing, which was not discussed. Board members agreed with Ms. Spellman that pricing is important, but because the process is in its infancy stages, pricing was not yet available.

Southampton Village resident Priscilla Campbell said she was pleased to see the board once again looking into administrative office options. Ms. Campbell explained that she has seen renovations done to all of the school buildings, but nothing has been done at the administration building.

“We’ve forgotten about the people who work in this district,” she said. “We should not have a district office that looks like we’re in a third world country.

“Southampton should not have a district office that looks like this,” she added.

Board members asked if anyone has any suggestions of properties on the market that are around 1 acre and square or rectangular, within close proximity of the schools, to let them know.

The topic recently came up at a School Board meeting in September, when board member James McKenna revealed that district officials had met with consultants to begin the discussion.

“We know that, after speaking to the architect, the reality is that from the day the community votes or approves something, we’re going to be two and a half to three years out,” Mr. McKenna told his fellow board members. “So, it would behoove us to keep moving on this.”

According to School Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Dyno, the administrative offices in the trailer are too small, in disarray and not compliant with federal Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The offices also have little room for privacy when it comes to payroll and registration, and, at times, the septic system serving the offices has been shut down because it could not handle the flow.

The most recent attempt to find a new home for the administrative offices was in 2016, when district officials proposed the purchase of two properties on Hampton Road.

The proposal sought authorization from voters to spend up to $7.75 million from a capital reserve fund created in 2009 to set aside funds for acquiring property. The plan was to buy the existing building at 300 and 310 Hampton Road and install the district offices there, moving them from the trailers.

District officials stressed that approval of the move would not affect property taxes for school district residents, because the district had $8.2 million in the reserve fund already—money specifically set aside to fund a new office. Still, voters rejected the proposal in May 2016.

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Thankfully no longer a community resident, but for those of you who are...please don't let them waste your money to buy, build, or borrow an $8M admin building. An adequate facility can replace the existing double-wide trailer for the adequate administration. Their own numbers show less enrollment. You should demand reallocation of this building fund to programs that support the children and their development; not bigger more private offices to the over-staffed 20 district employees.
By deepchanel (89), Southampton on Oct 10, 17 2:23 PM
The population of the district will be going down we don't need to spend 8 million for a plushy office. Time to pull back
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 10, 17 3:42 PM
More space for more overpaid administrators.
By harbor hound (31), southampton on Oct 10, 17 3:57 PM
Take the temp buildings down, move staff to temp quarters, build a two story building attached to the main building.
The old wood shop could go two stories for additional for additional footage.
The entrance to the maintenance shop is all wasted area. The little parking lot can be built on and made more possible square footage.
What does the architect recommend? Put the options in the press...
By knitter (1940), Southampton on Oct 10, 17 5:11 PM
I agree 100% !!!
By saywt01 (7), Southampton on Oct 11, 17 12:36 PM
A couple more trailers should suffice.
By bigfresh (4661), north sea on Oct 10, 17 5:38 PM
why was this story only posted on tuesday? The same for the debate on thursday? kind of at the last minute ...
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Oct 10, 17 9:24 PM
Make sure there is an apartment in the building for Scott Farina!
By fire11 (276), east hampton on Oct 10, 17 10:05 PM
Of course the current office septic system can't handle the "flow" of BS coming from our administrators. What was unclear about last year's vote?
By Clevel4now (2), Southampton on Oct 10, 17 10:36 PM
Thats what Norsic is for. Just spend and spend, easy to spend someone's money... Don't need a temple, get the architect from the Parrish building, state of art, no frills...
By knitter (1940), Southampton on Oct 10, 17 10:54 PM
They can't be stuck in a double-wide without fully operational plumbing. Have some decency.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Oct 11, 17 8:32 AM
New septic system to go with the new trailers, it's worked for nearly 50 years , why spend OUR money foolishly?
By bigfresh (4661), north sea on Oct 11, 17 11:24 AM
Were any of you at the meeting? Have any of you been in these "trailers"
These 45 year old temporary buildings need to be replaced. They are not asking for a plushy office, but a workable building where employees are not literally working in closets. The state mandates what is required in a school facility and what they need to have. Instead of off the cuff insults and remarks, lets get some locals to help.

By RUOK2 (15), Water Mill on Oct 11, 17 3:30 PM
Short notice for some. Cuts down on the participation. Big expansion, 5000 to 12000 sq ft. Go two stories attached to existing building.
By knitter (1940), Southampton on Oct 11, 17 8:27 PM
Notice was sent on Thursday afternoon for a Tuesday meeting when the post office was closed on Monday for Columbus Day? The shenanigans are starting again just like the last time this went to vote. Needless to say not many people knew of the meeting and we were yet again not giving time to go to a secret meeting
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 12, 17 9:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
Notice was sent on Thursday afternoon for a Tuesday meeting when the post office was closed on Monday for Columbus Day? The shenanigans are starting again just like the last time this went to vote. Needless to say not many people knew of the meeting and we were yet again not giving time to go to a secret meeting
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 12, 17 9:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
Still having Mouse Control issues, eh, Chief1?

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 12, 17 10:15 AM
As I keep saying, it is all about the greedy adults in the school system. All the wasted time, resources, and money was given to corrupt administrators, superintendent getting paid when he violated BOE contract. And now, take more money from the student resources and give to the greedy adults. The BOE and admin is a mafia-like system. They squeeze you for money and you have no control, all for their selfish greedy pockets. BOE have some courage and be resource-centric for the students, not ...more
By A_Concerned_Parent (37), manorville on Oct 12, 17 10:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
While I agree, it appears that they already have the money which has been specifically saved in a building reserve fund. No, they don't have to, or need to spend the whole $8M, the money's there, and the trailers could really use replacing. As previously suggested...
-use the existing parcel & footprint
-build a two-story brick replacement doubling the 5k to 10k
It won't be $8M.

Remaining 'building funds' could be used to purchase entrance metal detectors/xray scanners that ...more
By foodwhiner (148), Southampton on Oct 12, 17 11:28 AM
You guys realize that a public school system is funded by...wait for it...the public...that is how this works. If you want the administrators who run the school your kids go to, to pay for their own buildings - than maybe OLH is the answer for you. Goodness knows the Catholic church has money.

The people (any person really) deserve to work in an environment that meets ADA standards, that has working facilities, that meets the needs of the work there. Have any of you actually been in the ...more
By Polandspring (96), Southampton on Oct 12, 17 11:10 AM
Their suitable solution was to purchase an $8m building. They sought input from the public. Whether it be anonymously posted here, or chimed into a not very well publicized public meeting, the people are speaking. Staff members lurk along these comments just like we do. The employees of the school district far from suffer any hardship. They are extremely well paid, receive a hefty health benefit, an over abundance of vacation & sick & personal days. They're there working for 6 and half hours a day. ...more
By foodwhiner (148), Southampton on Oct 13, 17 6:41 AM
What happened to all of the free space on Majors path that the school district has never used and cannot sell which was for community benefit use only. The school district should give it back to the town to be used as parkland.
What about the building on the other side of Majors Path that was the Nursery School and is now just used for storage and is unsightly to look at. They should sell that parcel and use that money to fix up their administrative offices.
They have been wasting money ...more
By Legal Immigrant (11), Southampton on Oct 12, 17 1:23 PM
Both parcels have covenants that restrict the use of the property. The use being, "Must" be used for children/students. The Board never discloses the reasons for not selling the property and year after year the tax payer says sell it.
By auntof9 (158), Southampton on Oct 15, 17 11:48 AM