Cortland Voters go to the Polls March 31, 2020 to Decide on the Future of Parker School
Due to declining enrollment, the Board of Education made a difficult decision to close both Virgil and Parker Elementary Schools at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. We have been working with the City of Cortland and the Town of Virgil to plan for the potential sale of the buildings.
After securing an independent appraisal for the building and having a number of meetings with the City of Cortland, we were able to negotiate a contract for the sale of Parker Elementary School. The City plans to rent the building to the YWCA and CAPCO who will provide affordable daycare and early childhood education services. There is a Facebook page titled, “Vote Yes Parker '' available to view.
In order for the district to sell the building, a vote must be held. Therefore, on March 31, we will be holding a vote using paper ballots at the Kaufman Center from 12 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. There will only be one polling location for this vote. A public hearing will be held at the Kaufman Center on March 24th at 6:30 p.m.
Superintendent Mike Hoose said, “If the voters approve the sale the YWCA and CAPCO will continue to provide programs to Cortland students at Parker School which is a win-win situation. We are lucky to have a buyer that will use the property for an educational mission that aligns to ours.”
The District is offering to sell the school to the city of Cortland for $91. Mr. Hoose said, “We are trying to do this in the most fiscally responsible way. The price is low because we are still collecting building aid from NYS for previous renovations. Essentially, the aid we are receiving as revenue will then only be reduced by $91 (every dollar of the sale).”
Business Administrator Kim Vile said, “From a financial perspective it does not matter how much the district sells the building for. New York state will reduce our building aid by one dollar for each dollar we receive in the sale. Essentially we will receive the same revenue either from the sale proceeds or from NYS in building aid. Based on this information, selling the building for this amount makes sense for our tax payers and our community.”
If you are not registered to vote, you may register at the Kaufman Center from 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on March 17. If you are unable to be present to vote on March 31, contact the Clerk of the District, Alicia Zupancic, at (607) 758-4100, ext. 2202 for more information on obtaining an absentee ballot.
Please remember to vote on March 31st to help determine the future of the Parker Elementary School and the Madison Street community.