January 23, 2014

City School Board to mull Bailey/Oak merger

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh City School Board members are interested in exploring the possibility of combining Oak Street and Bailey Avenue elementary schools.

One of several ideas described in the final report of the district’s building-use study, it was presented at a recent meeting by Dr. William Silky and Dr. Phillip Martin of Castallo & Silky Education Consultants.


Their final recommendation was to move the district offices from the Duken Building to the Middle and High schools and lease out the Duken facility for the 2014-15 school year.

The consultants advised against selling the facility, noting it may be needed in the future due to projected enrollment increases at the lower grade levels.

However, before concluding this was the best option, the consultants considered other possibilities, including closing and selling, leasing or maintaining Oak Street School and constructing a 20-classroom addition onto the Bailey Avenue facility. 

This option also called for the the district to sell or swap the Duken Building for City of Plattsburgh park property and relocate District Office functions to either the Oak or Bailey buildings or the middle and high schools.

“Overall, the net staffing savings from our analysis would show about $190,000 if Oak were to close and the youngsters were to be combined with those at Bailey,” Silky said at the meeting.

In addition, he noted, maintaining the Oak Street facility at only minimal heat and light would result in an estimated annual savings of $50,300.


The consultants estimated the annual debt service cost of a 20-classroom addition to Bailey Avenue School at about $100,000 for 20 years, after aid money is factored in.

If this move were to occur, Silky said, the city would have to agree to give up some of the park land bordering the district’s Bailey property in order to accommodate the expansion and additional school parking.

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