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Jun 20, 2018 10:56 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School Board Focused On Building On Grounds After Public Input On Failed Referendum

Southampton School District officials are seeking the public's input on how to get voters to approve new administrative office space to replace the trailers currently being occupied by administrators. GREG WEHNER
Jun 20, 2018 11:20 AM

After listening to Southampton School District residents during the first of what could be many public workshops designed to develop a new plan to replace an aging administration building, a consensus has been reached: Any new building should be constructed on school grounds.

On June 13, the Board of Education hosted a public workshop to which School Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Dyno invited everyone who works in the district, and nearly 65 additional people representing the different communities within the district to participate.

During the workshop, which was attended by 35 of those invited, the attendees were asked to explain why they thought a proposition to purchase a home at 50 Narrow Lane, near the high school, and convert it into an administration building did not win voter approval last month. At the meeting, 26 reasons were offered, and each one was put into one of four broad categories: location, cost, process and trust/communication/misinformation.

After coming up with reasons, everyone was asked to come up with a solution for each one, and then put a sticker on the top three ideas.

The attendees were adamant about having an administration building on school grounds. One suggestion was to construct the new offices south of the intermediate school, and add parking in the semi-circle in front of the school

In order to cut costs, it was recommended the district look into having a prefabricated building constructed.

The attendees also stressed the importance of being transparent and keeping the community involved during the planning process. One suggestion was to create a formal committee made up of community members. It was also recommended that the public, including part-time residents, be involved in the decision-making from the beginning.

Greg D’Elia, a part-time resident who spends his summers in Southampton Village, said the workshop was well-attended and productive. He said the important thing was that the district continue to be transparent: “They should continue working on communicating with the voting community.”

Dr. Dyno said he wished more people had attended the meeting. “The feedback I heard from people who weren’t there, but people who read our Facebook post and talked to people there, like the approach that everybody got to voice their opinions,” he said on Tuesday. “I think we heard ideas. I think we now need to funnel that and move in the direction that will get us a hard plan.”

The board plans to host another public meeting at 7 p.m. on July 19 in the cafeteria at the intermediate school on Leland Lane.

For months leading up to the May vote, many voiced concerns about the proposal through letters to the editor, in full-page advertisements in The Press and through online comments on articles.

Some of the voters said they were concerned about cost. Some perceived a lack of transparency by the board. Others cited a potential new standard that would have become the norm if the proposal had been approved by voters.

Along with the $2.3 million purchase price of the home, district officials proposed spending an additional $2.9 million to renovate the single-family house into an office building, making the total cost $5.2 million. The renovations would have included filling in a backyard pool and creating an addition—which in some areas was expected to be two stories—linking the home and the garage. It also would have included office space and an elevator to ensure that the newly created offices were compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Wow, took them this long to get it??? These people are educating YOUR kids, Oh Well!!!
By knitter (1604), Southampton on Jun 20, 18 4:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
Yes. Not yours or your grandchildren. Which, makes it difficult to figure out the source of your seething hatred.
By SlimeAlive (1103), Southampton on Jun 21, 18 12:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
A couple of new trailers and it's all good to go.
By bigfresh (4055), north sea on Jun 20, 18 4:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
That’s what I’ve been saying.
By Draggerman (862), Southampton on Jun 20, 18 9:24 PM
If the people want the most expensive option, the most expensive option it will be! Lol
By even flow (808), East Hampton on Jun 21, 18 6:45 AM
Modular units. They can be custom built to all the specs, with ada compliance. Elevator can be framed in beforehand. As good as a stick built office.
I have seen some really great units...
By knitter (1604), Southampton on Jun 22, 18 11:06 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SlimeAlive (1103), Southampton on Jun 22, 18 11:26 AM