St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Capital Project Proposal: Building a Brighter Future
The St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES covers the largest geographical area at around 2,600 square miles, which is why unlike most BOCES, we must maintain three separate Career and Technical Education Buildings. St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES is also unique in that our total CTE enrollment is nearly 50% of all high school juniors and seniors in our component districts, and in several districts, over 70%. Our high enrollment is attributed to the quality of our programs, and our students' desire for a variety of challenging courses outside of their home districts' core classes.
However, although our BOCES boasts some of the highest enrollment rates, the current state of our Career and Technical Center buildings do not match how our students learn. Instructionally, our programs prepare students for successful futures in the evolving global economy, but the cramped shop spaces, lack of classroom space, and poorly lit and ventilated work areas do not match up with this philosophy.
Our three Career and Technical Centers were all constructed in (or around) 1970. The buildings all need significant infrastructure upgrades as the storm and sanitary plumbing, electrical service and distribution, and potable water services and wells are all original to the buildings. We have experienced recent system failures specifically involving plumbing and potable water at two of the buildings. Finally, continuing high enrollment in CTE programs has led to lack of adequate lab and classroom space, limited technological capabilities, and poor ventilation and lighting.
To that end, we began discussing with our superintendents the development of a BOCES capital project since September 2017, and have regularly updated them on our progress. We are now ready to share a tentative project outline and timeline with you. In the near future, we will be making arrangements with the superintendents to conduct visits to the technical centers, as well as presentations on the project at your district’s Board of Education meetings.
The following is a tentative project timeline, and is subject to change.
Anticipated Project Timeline:
- Finalize Project Scope and Budget (May 2018)
- SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act)- Coordinated review (June 2018)
- The SEQRA process must be completed before scheduling the referendum
- This process is run by the BOCES architect in consultation with the attorney
- BOCES Board sets the referendum process (Summer 2018)
- The board passes a resolution establishing the date, time and place of vote
- The board appoints officials to run the vote
- The absentee voter procedures are established
- Referendum (Fall 2018)
- Project will require approval by eligible voters the SLL BOCES region.
- Voters must be:
- US citizen
- 18 years or older
- Resident of the BOCES for 30 days before the vote
- Design Phase of Project (Begins Fall 2018)
- State Education Department (SED)- review of project plans and specifications (Minimum of 6 month review process)
- Dormitory Authority (DASNY)- financing of project
- Project Bid Phase (Spring 2020)
- Project Construction Phase (Begins Summer 2020)
Overview and Presentation
SLL BOCES Facilities Committee
The Facilities committee meets regularly to discuss current and upcoming repairs, upgrades, and the proposed capital project. The committee is comprised of BOCES and component district representatives including:
Thomas Burns, SLL BOCES District Superintendent
Darin Saiff, SLL BOCES Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
Nicole Ashley, Director of Financial Affairs
Kevin Perretta, Director of Facilities
Jane Akins, Director of CTE, Adult, and Alternative Education
Reneé Langtry-Greene, Director of Special Education
Craig LaLonde, Informational Technology Supervisor
Rebekah Grim, Manager of Communications and Print Services
Roger Bennet, SLL BOCES BOE President
Dana Smith, SLL BOCES BOE Vice President
Michael Davis, SLL BOCES BOE Member
Jim Young, SLL BOCES BOE Member
Timothy Vernsey, Superintendent of Ogdensburg City School District
Patrick Brady, Superintendent of Massena Central School District
Lauren French, Superintendent of Gouverneur Central School District
Eric Burke, Superintendent of Madrid-Waddington Central School District