School district administrative offices are now at the Lenape School

The New Paltz Central School District Offices have recently moved into available space at Lenape School on Eugene L. Brown Drive. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

The New Paltz Central School District Offices have recently moved into available space at Lenape School on Eugene L. Brown Drive. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

After six years and at least one failed attempt to move, the New Paltz school district has left its location on Henry W. Dubois Road for good. Staffers and equipment have made the move to the new location at Lenape Elementary School, although not everything is unpacked.

Schools Superintendent Maria Rice seemed please with the relocation. “You can tell we’re not done yet – putting everything up,” Rice said as she gave a tour of the new digs.


Not many walls have come down or gone up to facilitate the new office use. Old furniture has been retained. Many of the new offices in Lenape still have telltale signs of the classrooms they once were. Some rooms have sinks where kids used to wash up after messy projects. Others have distinctly classroom-sized floor plans. New carpeting and new paint were the most many rooms got.

“It’s just a classroom with paint,” the superintendent said, referring to her office. “We did as little as possible.”

New Paltz’s district office isn’t evicting grade schoolers from their classrooms. The space now occupied by the office had once been used by Ulster BOCES for courses. School officials in New Paltz wanted to relocate the office because they were paying rent at 1 Henry W. Dubois Road. Superintendent Rice, the assistant superintendents and their staff had moved into that rented office back in early 2008. Previously, they’d used that old blue house in front of the New Paltz Middle School as an office.

Over the course of the lease, the public schools paid their landlord about $600,000 for the space, according to Assistant Superintendent Richard Linden. Getting out of that costly lease has been a priority. Back in 2009 and 2010, district officials thought they had solved the problem with the $50 million renovation to the middle school, which would have brought the district office into that building. After the voters overwhelming rejected that plan in February 2010, the school district went back to the drawing board.

Another reason for the unpacked nature of the office in Lenape is that the district office could potentially move again. Right now, the school board is considering five options to upgrade or potentially close two school buildings. In two of the options, the district office is slotted to move to the high school on South Putt Corners. If the board opts for either of those two plans, Rice noted, they’ll have to pack again.

Renovations to Lenape cost about $600,000. Roughly half of that went to upgrade the heating and air-conditioning equipment to make for better air quality. “We went as inexpensively as possible,” Rice said. “The key is that we did as little as possible. But the expense went into HVAC, which needs to be done through the whole building.”

Both Lenape and the high school host summer classes and events year-round. Rice said she’d eventually see air quality and HVAC improvements to those two buildings.

Parents interested in the new offices can stop by Lenape at 1 Eugene L. Brown Drive in New Paltz to check it out. Signs will direct visitors away from the school’s main entrance toward the west side of the building, where the offices are. District office staff and adult visitors will use that separate entryway, and they’ll be sequestered from children by locked doors.

As of press time, some of those security door locks still needed to be installed. In the interim, the district has a check-in entry desk for people coming into the district office.

There are 16 comments

  1. Ron Turner

    In 2003, The Riverkeepers served the village with an “intent To Sue” document because of overflowing raw sewage in the streets right above 1 Henry W. Dubois. The papers served by The Riverkeepers included drawings of the raw sewage manholes at Henry W. and Church Streets, all of which ran down Church Street to Mulberry Street and down into the then pool hall/bar at 1 Henry W. Dubois. Didn’t the school board get a copy of the maps. Good luck out at Bog Brown’s.

  2. Ron Turner

    That is why the school board wanted to spend $850,000 for the house out on 32 South, so they could be above Bog Brown’s and not in it, literally.

  3. Ron Turner

    $600,000 in rent over six years for the landlord yielded $18,000 in taxes for school, county, village and town. That is, the school paid $100,000 in rent each year, made leasehold improvements to a private landlord’s building, had to sweep out overflowing sewage three times and throw out the carpet and papers lost, and the landlord paid $3,000 in total taxes each year. That is because there is no Homestead Law in New Paltz with different tax rates for “immediate family residences” and commercial properties. No difference, everybody pays the same rate. Nice racket.
    If you want to know how to change that, go see the Town Board with zimmet. Only they can pass a Homestead Law and make the shared tax burden fair, God Forbid.

  4. Ron Turner

    As to how a Homestead Law will aid and protect the community in the immediate and near future is that when bills garage and 115 North Chestnut are torn down and replaced with an umpteen number of commercial lodging services, and “commercial services” has long since replaced the Industrial age, if you know what I mean, the rental income will be 20% taxed instead of 3% taxed, as it is now. That was second grade, third grade math? Fourth grade anyways?

  5. ron Turner

    Kingston has a Homestead Law, and so does the Town of Ulster. If the assessment roll books are comprehensible and equitable, then the Homestead Law works to the advantage of the community. If there is no Homestead Law, and the books are incomprehensible and inequitable, it is time to call the State of New York Department of Taxation and Finance in to have the Department of Real Property Services do a full blown full press field audit. And that is just for the Village, where business is good, and the living outside the school district is easy.

  6. Ron Turner

    Correct that “outside the school district” for “(living) in the next Town where taxes are the third lowest in the County, and the tax rate at Bog Brown’s and around Town is the third highest in the county.

  7. Ron Turner

    All right class, let’s settle down? Everybody has 10 days to review the New Paltz Tentative Assessment Roll Books on line at County web site. Whomever (sic.) can first identify the first mistake in the first entry of the first page of the first assessment (tentative) roll book gets to learn something they never learned before. Ten days.

  8. Ron Turner

    One Henry W. is assessed at $600,000; Mc Peady’s is assessed at $740,000; Stewarts Ice Cream is assessed at $731,000. Question: Which commercial entity has the best profit to expense (i.e. (not “e.g.”) taxes 3% total per assessed $1,000 for village, town, county and school district.” Well, not bad for a reform-schooler?

  9. Ron Turner

    The Village of New Paltz had a contest once. First prize was a house; second prize was two houses; third prize was being mayor.
    Ooops, wrong article.

  10. Ron Turner

    One point two million dollars would be the expense of 1.2 miles of municipal sewer line. That is what it cost Wetland ponds to go from their site in the village through the town back into the village and down passed 1 Henery W. where the school administration just was. The town hall was one block away. That is where the Board of Assessment review meets once a year since the police moved out decades ago, and not one school board member ever showed up for Property Grievance Day, not even as an observer. Sickening.

  11. Ron Turner

    Why corrupt?
    Ya can’t have STAR exemptions on “commercial lodging services.” And what is history if not viewed with irony; the STAR exemption is for school taxes.

    Yeah, and STAR exemptions on two “seasonal residences” as well.

    Want more, go see your local supervisor; buck stops there.

  12. Ron Turner

    There is sewage overflowing right now in front of 5 Mulberry Street if you want to see it? The rains have quit, but the hydrology effects have just begun?

  13. Ron Turner

    ” The “unpacked nature” of the whole move seems to be the most disturbing element in this article; not only that it is reported as an “important fact” but a meaningful one at that? You gotta be kidding?.

  14. ron Turner

    Pay attention, class?

    SBL 94.2-1-29, 301 Route 32 South, land valued at $208,000 and appurtenances valued at $443,000. Total Value $651,000. Categorized as a “240-Rural residence.”

    Now, everybody go to the Property Classification code in the Assessor’s manual. Got it? There is no such “category” as a “#240”? Furthermore, there are 133 more “240’s” in the entire set of the Town of New Paltz Assessment Roll books, which the School District uses to levy taxes from?

    How any of you got to be elected to a taxing entity/local government I will never know?

  15. Ron Turner

    Really? I havecome back 13 days since my last post, and nobody has made a comment besides me? I am here all alone and nobody reads my stuff because nobody has posted since me in the last 13 days. If you had told me in the 1960’s that five decades hence I would be typing on a lap top computer no less snotty little remarks to a vast and unknown lack of readership, I would have not understood. And that is just my own comments. Any fixtures around here to steal?

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