Last spring, the Frontier Regional School Committee established an ad hoc committee to study the relocation of the district central office. The subcommittee considered three locations, including Christian Lane in Whately, Sandy Lane in Whately, and Frontier Regional School in South Deerfield. The subcommittee thoroughly studied the three sites, including the environment of the offices, the square footage available, and the costs to the taxpayers of the district.
The subcommittee presented its findings to the Joint School Committee on August 4, 2016, and the Frontier Regional and Union 38 School Committees voted to pursue the Frontier Regional School as the most appropriate relocation of the Frontier Regional and Union 38 Central Offices.
The recommendation was based upon the following factors:
- Square Footage: The space available at Frontier Regional School is 4,500 square feet as opposed to 2,600 square feet available at Sandy Lane in Whately. The space at Frontier is surplus to the educational needs of the Frontier Regional School.
- Buildout Costs: Because the district owns and operates the Frontier Regional School building, any modifications to the building would be modest in cost. The Sandy Lane site would require buildout costs to convert a warehouse site to office usage. At Christian Lane, the district would incur large costs necessary to bring the hundred year old building up to code.
- Rent and Operating Costs: At Frontier Regional School, there would be no additional rent or lease payments. At Sandy Lane, in addition to buildout costs, there would be an additional $20,000 per year lease plus utilities and at Christian Lane the current operating costs are roughly $24,000 annually. While we plan to use the Christian Lane facility for storage for the immediate future however, we will be making plans for the disposal of the building after we leave the facility.
Financially, the best use of district funds includes using the space that the taxpayers own and currently maintain. I feel it would not be in our four districts’ best interest to invest taxpayer money into a building we do not own.
The central office move to the Frontier Regional School building is a financially sound one. The subcommittee has worked hard to insure there will be a minimum of financial impact to the Frontier Regional and Union 38 School Districts’ taxpayers. We have planned our move to have the least impact on school district business as well as on the students and teachers at Frontier Regional School.
We will be moving our offices on December 23rd and 27th. We plan to be completely operational by the time school is in session on January 2, 2017. Thank you.
Lynn M. Carey, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools