Congers Elementary School classes will be relocating over
the Columbus Day holiday weekend. The Clarkstown School District plans to
transfer classroom supplies and furnishings to St. Augustine’s School in New
City during the three day break. The move will reunite the almost 300 students
in kindergarten through fifth grade in one building on Tuesday, Oct. 15th.
Congers students were reassigned to the New City, Lakewood and Laurel Plains elementary schools after their school on Lake Road West was declared unsafe in late August. Parents turned out in number at school board meetings and spoke about how separating the children impacted their education, sense of community and behavior. The board voted at its September 24th meeting to lease St. Augustine’s for one year.
Assistant School Superintendent John LaNave said school will not be closed for the move instead the items will be transported over the three day holiday weekend. Classroom materials will be taken from the three schools now attended by the students as well as from Congers Elementary.
“We didn’t take everything from Congers the first time,” he said.
As of the September meeting the costs associated with the closure of Congers Elementary added up to $62,578 for building & grounds employees and teachers’ overtime associated with the move, contract movers, installation of a safety fence and engineering fees.
He said the lease discussions with the Archdiocese of New York are moving forward.
“The lease terms are generally agreed to,” he said.
The one-year lease runs $260,000 but the district will just pay for its nine months of occupancy approximately $195,000. The district will also pay 70 percent of the cost of utilities used by the St. Augustine’s Parish complex not 90 percent as initially discussed. The district’s estimated cost of utilities is $35,000.
LaNave said most of the paperwork is in place and should be ready to send to the state education department for approval within a day or two. Minor repairs such as replacing exit lights have to be completed at St. Augustine’s in order to receive a Certificate of Occupancy.
“Father Bill (Cosgrove) has been very, very attentive to everything,” said LaNave. “The building is in beautiful shape.”
Congers Principal Martha Ryan, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Services Jeff Sobel and LaNave will be meeting to prepare the relocation plan. LaNave said teachers are packing up their materials so they are done by Friday, Oct. 11. Ryan sent a letter to Congers parents on Tuesday to update them on the move status.
October 1, 2013
Dear Parents, Staff and Community Members:
I would like to provide you with an update on the progress toward moving our staff and students to St. Augustine’s School in New City. I have been in contact with our Central Office representatives who inform me that the lease with the Archdiocese is being finalized and should be completed shortly. As soon as that is completed, it will be sent to officials at the State Education Department who had been contacted previously and agreed to “fast track” approval upon receiving and reviewing all documents. These include the completed lease and other information regarding the building received from the Archdiocese.
Assuming that things proceed in the expected manner and approval is received, we anticipate moving our materials into St. Augustine’s School prior to our first day with the students on Tuesday, October 15th. We do not anticipate closing school for Congers students on Friday, October 11th. We will be canvassing our teachers who request assistance with packing up or setting up classrooms. I will be in touch to coordinate these requests with our P.T.A. leadership.
Thank you for your continued support!
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