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Nov 3, 2010 10:54 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Tuckahoe School District Sets Referendum To Renovate House

Nov 3, 2010 10:54 AM

The Tuckahoe School District will ask voters next month to approve using $95,000 from an unappropriated reserve fund to renovate a district-owned house that Superintendent-Principal Joseph “Chris” Dyer said will most likely be used as employee housing.

If voters approve the referendum on December 21, the funds would cover the repair and refurbishment of the plumbing, electrical features, wallboard, paint and other features of the house at 46 Sebonac Road, which sits on a half-acre lot east of the school’s soccer field.

The district bought the property for $515,000 in the spring of 2009, after voters approved the purchase, but the house had not been lived in for several years. The modest house is currently not habitable, Mr. Dyer said, and the electrical wiring is not up to code.

“If you buy a home and you don’t take care of [it] over some years, you know that it’s going to deteriorate, so you need to maintain the investment,” he said, adding that the likely plan is for the three-bedroom house to serve as a home for a Tuckahoe staff member and his or her family. “It might provide an incentive for an educator to come work at Tuckahoe,” he said, noting that many educators travel a long way to work in the Southampton area.

The superintendent said he thought the renovation might begin in early January, if the referendum passes. The district would then have to accept bids for the work, which would be included in the $95,000 sum, Mr. Dyer said.

While using the house as a residential facility is the leading idea right now, the building could also potentially provide the district with additional office or classroom space, if necessary, in the future.

District officials said prior to the acquisition in 2009 that the property was a rare opportunity to help the school expand. Around that time, the school had 367 students enrolled in prekindergarten through eighth grade. This week, enrollment stood at 357, Mr. Dyer said.

The house previously belonged to the late Stanley Oldakowski, a retired Tuckahoe School custodian and bus driver, who died in April 2008.

Voting will take place between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, December 21, in the school gymnasium at 468 Magee Street in Tuckahoe. Voters wishing to use an absentee ballot must apply to the district clerk at least seven days before the vote.

Another property purchased by the district for $580,000 with voter approval around the same time as the Sebonac Road property—a 1.5-acre wooded parcel at 430 Magee Street, just south of the school playground will remain untouched for now, Mr. Dyer said. Officials from the Suffolk County Water Authority had pitched a plan to the School Board at the beginning of this school year to drill a well on the site, but school officials decided they “would like to keep it pristine and private,” Mr. Dyer said.

Officials in the neighboring Southampton School District, meanwhile, are still undecided about what to do with a roughly 9-acre plot of land at 1020 Majors Path in North Sea that the district acquired last spring via a donation from Majors Path Associates, LLC. The property has been cleared and has an approximately 7,500-square-foot storage building on it that is in need of repairs. The property at one time was used as a junk yard, and the district had originally considered it for the site of a new school building but chose to expand the existing Elementary School instead. Potential uses include a storage building, maintenance building or athletic. The district will most likely decide what to do with the property over the next year.

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