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PCS board of education approves building use form for Building Blocks Day Care, Davis votes no

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POTSDAM - The board of education voted 8-1 this week to grant Building Blocks Day Care a building use agreement that allows them to use Lawrence Avenue Elementary for before school and after school programs.

“I don’t think it’s a good thing,” board member Wade A. Davis, referring to the relationship between Building Blocks Day Care and the school district, before voting againts the agreement. “I think it’s preferential treatment, and it needs to cease.”

Superintendent Patrick H. Brady disagreed with Mr. Davis’ perspective.

“We rent our facilities to agencies besides the day care,” he said. “We rent to BOCES and a lot of community agencies who want to use our facilities.”

Board member J. Patrick Turbett agreed with Mr. Brady and said the arrangement between Building Blocks and the district is a good thing.

“I understand your point,” he said to Mr. Davis. “But I think it provides a valuable community service. Remember, this is a community school. We are owned by the community. We are not a private business.”

Mr. Davis said he felt that renting space to the day care facility was not in line with the district’s mission and goals of providing an education to the community’s students.

“I feel it’s not a core mission of the Potsdam School District ,and we should not be doing it,” he said. “It’s something I feel strongly about.”

A vote was then held with Mr. Davis casting the lone no vote.

The agreement, which runs from June 25, 2012 to June 21, 2013, allows the day care to use space at Lawrence Avenue Elementary.

From Sept. 6 to June 21, 2013, the agreement allows them to use space from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 3 to 5:45 p.m. During the summer months, running through Sept. 5, they are allowed to use the space from 6:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

The agreement calls for Building Blocks to pay the district $21.75 per day when school is in session and $51.25 per each full day of use when school is not in session.

“The district shall provide a monthly invoice and Building Blocks shall make payment to the district within 20 days of the date of invoice,” the agreement reads.

The agreement also includes an out clause that allows either Building Blocks or the district to terminate the agreement “with or without” as long as reason with 30 days written notice is provided.

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