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Potsdam district officials forced to evict Building Blocks

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POTSDAM - School officials are legally required to pursue eviction action against Building Blocks Day Care Center because the agency has overstayed the terms of its lease, according to Superintendent Patrick H. Brady.

For the past 20 years, Building Blocks has occupied a building behind AA Kingston Middle School, which is the maximum length of time that a school may lease a building to an outside entity under New York state law, Mr. Brady said.

Building Blocks’ second 10-year contract with the school district expired May 12. However, the center’s owners said they wouldn’t be out of the district’s building until May 19 because they encountered problems in moving into their new facility at 6604 State Rt. 56.

Mr. Brady said the district is legally required to move ahead with the eviction process against Building Blocks, even though i’s very likely the day care center will have vacated the building before the eviction process is complete.

“It’s not something we want to do, but it’s an action we will have to take legally because they didn’t fulfill their contract,” Mr. Brady said. “Our expectation is they will vacate before we can finish the process.”

School officials are still considering possible uses for the building behind the middle school, including providing more space for the BOCES programs housed by the district. “We’re continuing to have discussions with BOCES for possible use for educational space,” Mr. Brady said.

To be used by BOCES, the building would require a number of renovations, such as lowering the high ceiling and reconfiguring the rooms, which may be too large for BOCES classrooms, according to Mr. Brady.

District officials are planning to hold a referendum in August to determine the possible uses for the building and hope to move ahead with renovations in early 2014. Mr. Brady said the renovations were not extensive and believes it’s possible BOCES students could use the space by spring 2014.

Mr. Brady called use of the new space a “natural progression” for a program that he says has been beneficial to the district. “Our school has been a BOCES center for many years. I think it’s very helpful to our school to have a BOCES center on site,” he said.

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