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Voters approve Nassau BOCES’ $9M purchase of Carman Road School

Physical therapy assistant Sigrid Herblin-Wynn spots April Weintraub

Physical therapy assistant Sigrid Herblin-Wynn spots April Weintraub of Bellmore-Merrick, 17, as she uses a treadmill in the gymnasium at Nassau BOCES Carman Road School in Massapequa Park Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. Credit: Barry Sloan

A Nassau BOCES proposal to buy the Carman Road School in Massapequa Park for $9 million won countywide approval Wednesday night on a 2,184-223 vote.

The upcoming purchase will give BOCES ownership of nine of the 12 buildings where it operates regional centers — a strategy that officials said saves money in rent and provides more flexibility in facilities use.

“We are delighted,” said the agency’s superintendent, Robert Dillon. “I think the results show that voters realized the benefits of BOCES owning the building.”

Officials of the regional education agency said the purchase would entail no additional cost for local school districts or taxpayers, because the agency has enough money in reserve to finance the purchase.

In addition, the transaction would save about $900,000 in annual rental costs now shared by the 56 local school districts in Nassau County.

Initial voting on the referendum was reported as light, which was expected, given the noncontroversial nature of the ballot proposition.

“Everything is going according to plan, and we’re glad we changed the voting date to today, because otherwise, we would have held it tomorrow after the snow fell,” said Angela Marshall, a BOCES spokeswoman.

Carman Road School has been used since 1979 by the Nassau County Board of Cooperative Educational Services for the education of students with severe disabilities. More than 160 students, ages 3 to 21, attend the school.

Representatives of both Nassau BOCES and the Massapequa school district, which now owns the building, described the purchase plan as a win-win exchange. The local district would retain 3.6 acres of adjoining athletic fields for student teams and community organizations.

Massapequa officials said the $9 million would be placed in reserve and used to curb taxes during the next 10 years.

Local residents approved the plan Oct. 18 by a 707-99 vote. Under law, residents countywide also must approve the purchase.

Voting was held Wednesday until 8 p.m. at six BOCES sites across the county.

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