NECC lease renewed at MES
Reprinted with permission from The Millerton News, copyright The Lakeville Journal Company, LLC, 2011.
MILLERTON — On Monday, May 9, the North East (Webutuck) Central School District's Board of Education approved the extension of the lease currently held by the North East Community Center (NECC) for a portion of the Millerton Elementary School (MES) building.
The lease, which has been renewed through September, allows NECC to continue using three rooms in the building.
This extension also guarantees NECC a location for its summer camp program. Had the lease not been renewed, NECC would have left at the end of June, which would have derailed the summer camp.
NECC, which has its headquarters on South Center Street, has been renting part of the MES building since 2006 and has been holding its camp at that location for four years. During the rest of the year, NECC uses the MES building to hold an after-school program for kindergarten through sixth-grade students and to hold GED classes in the evenings.
In a joint discussion between NECC and the BOE, it was originally decided to end the lease at the end of June to coincide with the end of the school district's fiscal year.
The future of the MES building is still unsure, which is why the lease extension was only granted for three months. The BOE has been in talks with numerous interested parties about selling the MES building.
Since it has become clear that the building will not change hands immediately following June 30, the BOE decided that it was in the best interest of the community for NECC's lease to be extended.
"The bottom line is that they have a use for the building, so let's keep them doing something for the kids," said Dale Culver, the BOE president.
It is still undecided if the building will remain open during the winter months, when upkeep costs are the highest.
"The renewal was mostly to keep the camp going," continued Culver. "The lease could continue, but it's still too early to decide."
Culver also said that he believed that any public entity that might take over the MES building would have an interest in continuing the NECC programs, which he said "provide betterment for the community."