June 7: Board to review lease-purchase proposal for ClarksvilleElementary School

On June 7, the Bethlehem Central Board of Education will review a possible inter-municipal lease/purchase agreement with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, the current tenant at Clarksville Elementary School. 

The school was closed by the district in 2011 due to declining enrollment. The Sheriff’s Office has occupied the space since 2012 and has expressed interest in purchasing the property. Based on enrollment trends and projections compiled by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission, the school district does not foresee a need to re-open the school. 

“District administrators and the Sheriff’s Office have put together a tentative framework that would extend the Sheriff’s lease for three years, through 2020, and modify it to be a lease-purchase agreement, with a purchase price of $325,000,” said Superintendent Jody Monroe. 

Monroe said the framework deal would provide the school district with a “right of first refusal,” giving the school district the option of purchasing the property from the Sheriff’s Office should the department seek to sell it at a later date. It would also preserve the school’s history as much as possible by maintaining the Clarksville Peace Pole, the building sign, the school’s bronze plaque and by working with the school district to digitally preserve the school’s existing artwork. 

The board of education will review details of the tentative plan at its regular board meeting on Wednesday, June 7 at 7 p.m. in the Bethlehem Central High School Library Media Center (LMC).

“In March, the Bethlehem Central Board of Education held a community meeting to discuss a possible sale of Clarksville Elementary School to the Albany County Sheriff’s Office,” said Superintendent Monroe. “At that meeting, the prevailing sentiment from those who live in the area was that while the school is greatly missed, the Sheriff’s Office has been a welcome addition to Clarksville.”

Sheriff Craig Apple who, at the March meeting, indicated he plans to maintain the facility as an emergency shelter, expand youth recreational opportunities, preserve the playground and possibly provide a satellite location for other county services, will attend the June 7 meeting to answer residents’ questions.

Residents who have questions in advance of the June 7 meeting are encouraged to reach out to Superintendent Jody Monroe by email at jmonroe@bcsd.neric.org or by phone at 518-439-7098.​