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PCS ready to take over Building Blocks Day Care building in May

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POTSDAM — The school district will take ownership of the former Building Blocks Day Care building, located on its campus behind A.A. Kingston Middle School, on May 12.

Superintendent Patrick H. Brady told the board of education this week that the day-care center is expected to be out of the building before that date, and it’s his understanding, based on conversations with Building Blocks Director Marlene L. M. Pickering, that they’re planning to move to a building on Route 56.

“The plan is they will be out of the building before that time in May,” he said. “We’re in the process of preparing for the transition.”

The transition includes receiving a lien release from the village, which would grant the district full control and ownership of the building without any liabilities.

Mr. Brady also said a tour of the building is being planned to check out its condition and determine what renovations need to be made to convert it into classroom space for use either by the district or the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Mr. Brady said BOCES has expressed an interest in leasing the building from the district.

“Originally when we were discussing the project scope, we had included the day care building renovations, but given that it is not yet a school building, it was not included in the adopted project scope,” he said.

Mr. Brady said the district is now looking at alternative projects that could be completed should the bids received come in under the project’s anticipated $18 million price tag, something that is likely to happen.

“We are now looking at alternatives and have had some discussion about including the day care as one of the alternatives,” he said. “If the main scope comes in under bid, we would look at these other areas.”

Other potential projects being discussed are security and safety enhancements throughout the district, including improved outdoor lighting, increased card access for exterior doors, enhanced safety hardware for interior doors and possibly security cameras.

Building Blocks Day Care has operated in the building since it was built in 1993. Construction was paid for using grant money from Housing and Urban Development, as well as other monies administered through the Potsdam Planning and Development Office.

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