FAQ about 1772 Helderberg Trail property purchase proposition


On May 17, 2022, BKW Central School District residents will be asked to vote on the proposed purchase of property located next to the school, at 1772 Helderberg Trail, for a price not to exceed $410,000. May 17 is the also the statewide date of the annual school budget vote and Board of Education election at BKW and all public school districts.

Q. What is included in the property?

A. The property includes:

  • a 1.25 acre lot, zoned commercial/residential
  • a building with 2,400 square feet of space currently set up as office space and
  • 1,900 square feet currently used as residential space a paved lot with 20 marked spaces and additional unmarked spaces
  • a two-car garage

Q. When was the decision made to enter a contract to proposed purchase?

A. The proposed purchase was approved by the BKW Board of Education at a special meeting on Feb. 7, 2022, following the board’s consideration of the potential uses of the property. The purchase is pending the outcome of the public vote.

Q. How will the property purchase be funded?

A. Funds for the purchase of 1772 Helderberg Trail will come out of the unappropriated fund balance from the current school budget. This is a one-time expense of $410,000 that will NOT impact the 2022-23 district budget. The purchase will NOT impact property taxes. If approved, the purchase will be a cash transaction and will not add any debt burden for the district.

Q. Will the school district business office be permanently located in the residence portion of the property?

A. The plan is to move district business office personnel and operations from the current business office space in the bus garage to the residence portion of the 1772 Helderberg Trail property. This will be a permanent move for business office staff.

Q. Why not repair/renovate the current business office facility?

A. There are needs that have been put on hold in the bus garage facility for many years such as bus wash bay, suitable and safe maintenance work area, corroding exterior steel siding, problems with the HVAC system, adequate space for departments- transportation, IT, and facilities and maintenance. The purchase of the property allows for a long-term solution for business office operations and frees up space for a short-term solution to workspace issues for other departments, while allowing for long-term assessment and planning for the entire facility through the district’s next building condition survey process which will be due to be submitted to NYS Education Department in the spring of 2024. Pouring money into significant repairs that would be Band-aids on the issues would not solve space and safety issues for the long term.

Another important consideration is that there is now a mandate in place that all school buses purchased in New York State must be electric by 2027, and all school buses on the roads must be electric by 2035. The district bus garage will need upgrades to its facilities to meet those mandates including infrastructure improvements and additional workshop space. We must begin planning for those changes.

Q. What is the plan for the office space in the 1772 Helderberg Trail property?

A. Currently, Jill Martin provides medical service for the community in the office space at 1772 Helderberg Trail through Hilltown Healthcare. She may remain in that location for as long as she needs to be there. If/when she moves to a new location, the Board of Education will fill the office space with community-based services such as dental services, mental health services, or childcare service. The Board of Education believes strongly in the school district being a community-school operation. This effort reflects that belief.