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Mar 7, 2018 11:10 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School District In Contract To Buy Property For Offices

Southampton School District voters will decide whether to allow the district to move forward with purchasing the house at 50 Narrow Lane to be used as the new administration office. GREG WEHNER
Mar 7, 2018 11:53 AM

The Southampton School District plan to purchase a $2.3 million house on Narrow Lane, across the street from the high school, to use for new administrative offices likely will sidestep a typical review by the Southampton Village regulatory boards.

Since the property would be owned by the district, which falls under state rules, variances that would normally need to be obtained from the village may not be necessary.

“A school district is exempt from certain variances, so depending on what the variance would be, would determine if we need one or not,” Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Dyno said on Friday.

School board members agreed to enter into a contract to purchase the 4,700-square-foot home at 50 Narrow Lane in February, after weighing options that included building new ones where the current administrative offices have been since 1971—in a 5,000-square-foot trailer beside the intermediate school on Leland Lane.

District officials say that building new offices on Leland Lane would cost nearly $5.5 million, to which $420,000 would have to be added to lease 4,000 square feet of space for three years while construction is under way, making the total closer to $5.9 million. In purchasing the house and modifying it to fit the administration’s needs, the district would save nearly $400,000.

District voters will have the ultimate say on May 15, when there will a referendum on whether to dedicate $5.4 million—which the district already has set aside in a capital reserve fund—to the purchase and renovations. The district has made a $115,00 deposit on the purchase from John Pace Jr. and Donna Marie Pace, which could be refunded if residents vote down the referendum.

The property at 50 Narrow Lane would cost $2.3 million to buy, but additional costs—gutting and refitting it as office space, outfitting it with a lift to make it accessible to the handicapped, paving parking spaces, and installing a new HVAC and sanitation system—increase the price tag to more than $5.4 million. The total cost, according to school officials, also includes fees for legal, consulting, engineering and planning services. Once completed, the building will be 7,200 square feet.

Some neighboring property owners have voiced concerns about parking, building entry points, whether the building is going to change, if the building is going to be illuminated late at night and whether there will be parking in place of a swimming pool now located behind the house.

Dr. Dyno said the exterior of the building is not going to change. He added that four parking spots would go in the back, with additional parking on the school side of Narrow Lane, between the northernmost football field goal post and the firehouse on the corner of Hampton Road and Narrow Lane.

To address the concerns of neighbors, he said, he is in the process of setting up a meeting to try to clarify what is going on. “People hear all kinds of rumors in Southampton, so people want the facts,” he said.

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 district sought authorization from voters to spend up to $7.75 million from the capital reserve fund, which was 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 had stressed that approval of the move would not affect property taxes, 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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I'm no expert but wouldn't it be cheaper to tear down the house and build offices from scratch?
By Rich Morey (327), East Hampton on Mar 7, 18 12:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
Never heard of a refund if not passed. BOE won't listen to taxpayers.
By knitter (1434), Southampton on Mar 7, 18 2:26 PM
They are making a big mistake buying a house like that.
By chief1 (2516), southampton on Mar 7, 18 6:33 PM
2 members liked this comment
how about a couple of NEW TRAILERS??!!
By bigfresh (3673), north sea on Mar 7, 18 10:11 PM
The use will require Zoning Variances from the Village and Village code also requires 2 or 3 acres for (School, Education) use.
By 11953guest (36), southampton on Mar 7, 18 10:24 PM
NE corner of parking lot, knock down trailers after. Not in my neighborhood. Not good neighbors. Keep them close, to many deals going on. BOE offices???
By knitter (1434), Southampton on Mar 8, 18 12:39 AM
Ah, the Pacey home, been in there many times. Huge fancy house complete with a pool, garage, and large basement. Unbelievable they need something so fancy.
By 2329702 (22), East Quogue on Mar 8, 18 1:25 PM
$2.3 million dollar house off the tax rolls??? Don't be fooled, there is room on school grounds.
The engineering to make compliant is overwhelming. Don't start with a pig and try to make it look good. Build it right the first time. The room is there after the trailers are removed...
Money tree is gone boe...
By knitter (1434), Southampton on Mar 8, 18 8:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
I still think that purchasing new trailers would be the most financially prudent course of action. After all it's our money!
By bigfresh (3673), north sea on Mar 8, 18 8:51 PM
3 members liked this comment
There are over 20 people working in the business office. The temporary building is almost 50 years old, the floors are rotting and a new office is needed.The idea of trailers is absurd. There is no room on the school grounds for a new building and parking without removing athletic fields. Part of the property that the old building sits on will be used for a playground for the SIS kids. Our District is using all but the NE corner and that will be a small parking lot for the new building. As for ...more
By RUOK2 (13), Water Mill on Mar 9, 18 10:28 AM
The plan calls to pave 30 parking spaces on the football field grounds, taking away some 200% more land for parking than they are "giving back" above. This plan is absurd. There is room on the grounds, or they could go with a high end modular replacement to the trailers they are now in versus removing land from our tax rolls.
By Hubbell House (7), southampton on Mar 13, 18 3:27 PM
Play ground? I thought they needed a building??? All the renovations will cost a lot. Wide halls, steel, fire suppression system, handicap bathrooms, new septic system. All these cost money.
Remove the old trailers, and build on the existing foot print, two stories. Rent for the three years 420,000 dollars is well spent.
Keep the house on the tax rolls. If they didn't blow all the money spent on two people, accountability people... Don't believe the $$$ stated, never ever goes that way...

By knitter (1434), Southampton on Mar 9, 18 11:40 PM
Play ground? I thought they needed a building??? All the renovations will cost a lot. Wide halls, steel, fire suppression system, handicap bathrooms, new septic system. All these cost money.
Remove the old trailers, and build on the existing foot print, two stories. Rent for the three years 420,000 dollars is well spent.
Keep the house on the tax rolls. If they didn't blow all the money spent on two people, accountability people... Don't believe the $$$ stated, never ever goes that way...

By knitter (1434), Southampton on Mar 9, 18 11:45 PM
Apparently the principal needs better winter accommodations. Too chilly on his sailboat.
If I still lived in the district I would not be a happy camper. The neighbors should be even more unhappy, their resale values are about to plummet.
By smacw (233), New York on Mar 12, 18 3:33 PM
No they can't violate local laws...
By knitter (1434), Southampton on Mar 13, 18 1:23 PM
And to do this, they want to pave 30 parking spaces across the street in the football field, right next to the running track, and take away exercise fields for the students. Look at the documents on the School Website. This plan is absurd.
By Hubbell House (7), southampton on Mar 13, 18 1:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
You can put fancy rims on a Honda and it doesn't make it a Rolls. So, taxpayers shouldn't allow the district to purchase a single family dwelling and make it into a business office.
By saywt01 (7), Southampton on Mar 16, 18 8:58 AM
The BOE should be required to send out the plans and costs to the district voters. Notification of the date for the vote two weeks ahead,
SH press what do they think???
By knitter (1434), Southampton on Mar 21, 18 4:30 PM
harbor hot tubs,