Lenape Elementary School Seeks to Expand

Lenape Elementary School is looking to acquire more acres of land, and the district is set to vote on this proposal on April 10.

The land being negotiated comes with a family home they plan on selling to defray the initial cost which is $798,000 according to an article from The New Paltz Times.

Superintendent Maria C. Rice said they are “looking to divide the property among the people living on the land.”

Acquiring more land will be beneficial to the students of  the elementary school as well as the surrounding community, according to Rice.

Rice said one benefit of the expansion would be “a secondary emergency access along route thirty-two.” The elementary school is located in a cul-de-sac where there is only one point of entry. This will provide students and faculty in a time of emergency a safe evacuation plan timely manner. It would also make ambulatory services more accessible to the school grounds if need be.

Rice said the expansion will also include “park and field for the community and student youth.” Also a part of this expansion is the district converting the land into parking space, which has been a major problem for families when the school hosts events.

Lenape Elementary will acquire 22.4 acres, pending voter approval. There are three other schools near Lenape and there is a plan in “consideration for consolidation of school buildings,” Rice said.

Acquiring this land could mean having flexible space in order to merge closer schools into one school.

According to The New Paltz Times, “potentially, the school district could use that land to close one school building and expand to have two schools at one location.”

Having such a large acre is ideal for Lenape Elementary to work with because “having that land would give the district an opportunity to plan in the long term,” Rice said.

Voters will be asked to vote on two propositions at the April meeting. Proposition 1 would allow the district to purchase the land with the reserve. Proposition 2 would ask voters if they support the school in their mission to gain the land.

If the voters vote no for proposition 1 and yes for proposition 2, this means the school will bond the $798,000 needed to get the land, if they use the capital reserve. According to the same article, without the bond, they will have to pay a debt interest.

The voting will take place on April 10 in the New Paltz High School gymnasium from noon to 9 p.m.