SINCLAIRVILLE - The future of the Cassadaga Elementary School is in question.
The Cassadaga Valley Central School Board voted to hold a "work session" to explore the use of the building on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the middle/high school. The public is encouraged to attend.
At the September and October school board meetings, Superintendent Scott Smith reported the number of students in each building and the building capacity.
At the meeting held on Monday night, he again reported the numbers of students. The district has experienced some loss since opening day in September.
Smith said, "I continue to be very concerned with the under-utilization of the buildings. ... At the Cassadaga Elementary School nine out of 24 classrooms are in use. Under 30 percent is not effective use of the building."
Putting it into a budgetary context, Smith noted the governor is recommending a 2.2 percent increase in state aid, but the contribution to the teacher retirement system is projected to increase by 4.66 percent. Smith had calculated if the increase in aid is applied to the retirement system, that would leave about $1,000.
Health insurance is also projected to increase. Without adjustment the budget would show a quarter of a million dollar deficit.
Smith recommended before the board does any "heavy lifting" on the budget, it hold a work session, not a budget workshop, to discuss building utilization.
William Carlson moved to set up the work session and the board unanimously agreed.
Smith then asked the board members to let him know what information they thought was important to have before the session. He took notes as the board members came up with ideas.
Board member Jeanne Oag wanted to know what costs would remain if the building is no longer use. "There would be costs to maintain it ... costs we would be left with."
Other suggestions for research were: preliminary figures on savings, whether their were options to use part of the building as a revenue source, legal issues involved and what the district is allowed to do with the building."
Smith recognized that board members might think of other concerns, and asked them to let him know. He also noted that the Dec. 10 board meeting would be held before the "work session" is held.
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