Press-Republican

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February 24, 2014

City School prepares to lease some Duken space

PLATTSBURGH — Multiple entities have expressed interest in leasing space in Plattsburgh City School’s Duken Building.

The district has been contacted by both Kaleidoscope Children’s Center and Start-Up NY about possibly occupying a portion of the facility, located at 49 Broad St., City School Superintendent James “Jake” Short told the School Board at a recent meeting.

A third, unidentified entity may also be interested in renting space there, he said.

NOT YET READY TO RENT

The notion of leasing out all or part of the facility, which currently houses district offices, emerged from a recently completed building-use study conducted by Castallo & Silky Education Consultants.

Short said about half of the building could be available for lease without the district having to move offices to another facility.

However, “we aren’t geared up and set up as landlords, so we (first) need to do a couple things,” he said.

City School Associate Superintendent Jay Lebrun has been working on getting an estimate of the appropriate price to charge for the space, Short noted, and the district needs to work with its legal council to develop lease agreements.

EXEMPTIONS

Later in the meeting, board member Fred Wachtmeister told attendees he would not support the City School renting to Start-Up NY, a program initiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that allows new businesses in university communities to operate tax free for 10 years.

“I think it’s filled with tax exemptions, which I personally don’t think are good for the state in the long run (and) certainly not good for the area here,” he said.

Wachtmeister added that he believes the best use of the Broad Street facility is for educational purposes.

WAITING FOR WORK

While Castallo & Silky’s final recommendation was that the district move its offices to the middle and high schools and lease out the entire Duken building, Short said now might not be the best time for that, as the schools are in need of capital work.

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