April 6, 2013

School officials: Duken space is needed

PLATTSBURGH — As Plattsburgh City School District faces another difficult budget season, discussions have emerged on the potential sale of district properties.  

“There’s a lot of property out there that’s just sitting there doing nothing,” Plattsburgh resident Fritz Tobrocke told the School Board at a recent meeting.  “Let’s put it on the tax rolls (and) get some money out of it, get some savings for the rest of us.”

Tobrocke and fellow resident Suzanne Barton urged the board to look into selling the Duken Building, the former Broad Street Elementary School facility that now houses district offices. 

“Maybe you can consolidate offices and put them in other classrooms, “ Barton said. 

In addition, Tobrocke advocated for the sale of a sports practice field located beside the Saranac River down behind the High School. 

“It could be sold,” he told the board. “Condos could be put up.”


The Press-Republican spoke in a separate interview with City School Superintendent James “Jake” Short about the possibility of selling the district-owned sites.

He said that selling the practice field, which is used by multiple sports teams, is unrealistic because it lies in an annual flood zone. 

“However, longstanding considerations have been given to the concept of the Duken Building,” he said. 


According to the Clinton County Real Property Office, the Duken Building at 49 Broad St. and surrounding land are assessed at $1,879,200. The property measures 3.5 acres.

Because it is School District property, it is tax-exempt.


The Duken Building currently houses PCSD’s Educational Technology Center, which contains the district’s computer servers, and the Alternative Education and Out of School tutoring programs.

It provides office space for the district’s business, special-education, and buildings, grounds and transportation officials; the superintendent; a nurse practitioner; and a part-time employee who collects information data required by the state. 

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