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Letter: School Board Talks Farmedge

This letter is in response to a recent advertisement in the April 9th issue of The Levittown Tribune. In that issue, there was an advertisement for three individuals running for the Island Trees Board of Education in which certain statements were made about the current Board of Education and we would like to clarify them.  

 

The Board of Education is elected by the community to oversee and make decisions on district spending. The Board of Education’s area of responsibility is to the Island Trees Schools, the children they educate and the residents of the district. 

Gallow has not been used for Island Trees students for approximately 20 years. We actively looked and continue to look for tenants since BOCES—much to the Board’s disappointment—decided to vacate the Gallow building in 2013.  

 

It was our responsibility when we no longer had a tenant for Gallow to explore other options for the property as an empty building will burden the taxpayers of this community. One such option was a possible sale of the property. To explore this option, it was necessary to know the worth of the property, and we needed to employ the services of professionals to obtain such information.  As of February, due to the community response, all inquiries into selling the property have been tabled and we are in the process of forming a community team that will explore suggestions about the future use of the property.  In order to reduce costs to the taxpayers of an unused building, a decision was made to close the building while keeping it in a condition that would make it immediately available for a possible tenant with minimal re-opening costs.

 

Had the community supported the sale of the property, it was always a consideration that the library would be a part of the district reorganization. The library and the district are two distinct entities, with their own budgets to be used to sustain their own programs. 

 

The Board had also stated a commitment to honor the Stephen E. Karopczyc name at another one of our buildings. After all, it was members of this current board that helped restore the Memorial Middle School name.

 

Although the Farmedge issue is an important one, it is just one of the many issues we are entrusted to handle. In closing, the final word on the future Farmedge Property will always be with the community in a referendum vote.

 

We hope to see you at Meet the Candidate Night on May 12th at the Island Trees High School at 7 p.m.  

 

Island Trees Board of Education

 

Kenneth Rochon, President

 

Kristen Daum, Vice President

 

Daniel Donahue

 

Patricia Mahon

 

Kim McDonough

 

Barbara Medellin

 

George Storm