Community Message re: OU BOCES Capital Project


Community Message re: OU BOCES Capital Project

October 11, 2022

To the Taxpayers and Voters of the Warwick Valley Central School District:

Orange-Ulster BOCES is holding a public vote on a proposed capital project to fund renovations at its Gibson Road and Arden Hill campuses in Goshen. The voting will take place at the Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center (Board Room), 225 West St. Extension, on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Rather than expressing an opinion, this communication aims to simply state the facts. Everyone should vote according to what they believe is best.

The reason for the referendum is the buildings that Orange-Ulster BOCES occupies have been in disrepair for some time. OU BOCES is asking each of its component districts to pay their share of the nearly $159 million price tag. Each district’s financial obligation for this project is based on the proportional size of the district. Based on the Warwick school district’s overall student enrollment, which is 3,700 students, our community’s portion would be over $11 million. Currently, we have 158 students who take part in BOCES programs (84 career and technical education students and 74 special education students).

OU BOCES has 17 component districts, and the Warwick Valley Central School District is a part of this organization because of the cooperative’s buying power to lower prices, professional development, risk management, career and technical education, and special education services.

To be fiscally responsible, we have created several programs (such as criminal justice, video production, cosmetology, and special education offerings) that lower costs by reducing the operating costs and transportation of students out of the district. These cost savings have been significant to taxpayers over the years.

We must emphasize that the decision for the Orange-Ulster BOCES referendum was not a local school board decision. This referendum has been put forth by the OU BOCES Board of Education. While each Warwick board member may have their individual opinion, the decision on whether or not the OU BOCES referendum passes lies with each person who is eligible to vote in the 17 component districts. The Warwick Valley Central School District Board of Education has no authority over whether or not this referendum passes.

If approved, the OU BOCES project would be financed at a higher amount than the last three combined local capital projects here in Warwick, which totaled over $30 million without raising taxes. The OU BOCES project also does not receive the building aid the district would usually receive if it were doing work on our buildings through a capital project. The amount of state aid is significantly less. In this situation, Warwick taxpayers would be responsible for close to $7 million of the $11 million. To fund the OU BOCES project, there would likely be an increase to the district’s tax levy. So, as part of the yearly tax adjustments, there would be an additional aspect factored in to cover the cost of the $7 million broken out over several years.

The estimated annual cost to the Warwick taxpayer over the next 20 years, according to OU BOCES, is about $50 per year, assuming a $300,000 home. Therefore, school taxes will likely increase and/or some local programs will be reduced if the OU BOCES’ referendum passes. However, we also recognize and appreciate the programs and support OU BOCES provides to our district. The construction and renovation projects would start in 2024, if approved.

Warwick Valley CSD Board of Education

  • Keith Parsons, President
  • Dory Masefield, Vice President
  • Sharon Davis
  • Bill Fanos
  • John Garcia
  • Robert Howe
  • Lynn Lillian
  • Daniel Mahoney
  • Thomas Maslanka



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