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BOCES, Uriah Hill May Offer Solution To Peekskill School Crowding

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. — The Peekskill City School district is expecting space issues as the student population grows, but BOCES administrators may have the solution.

The district is seeing a large increase in enrollment, Peekskill Superintendent of Schools Jame Willis told school board members at Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting.

"We are up drastically in our population in some grade levels, particularly at Woodside (Elementary) in our pre-k and our kindergarten classes," Willis said. "At Woodside we're up about 65, 70 kids."

That increase has been dealt with previously by creating more classes or increasing some class sizes by a few students. At some point, however, a new solution must be found, Willis said. Options include expanding Woodside to accommodate more students, bringing in portable trailer classrooms or moving prekindergarten classes to the vacant Uriah Hill school.

The last option may be a serious possibility, because Willis said BOCES administrators are considering leasing space in the school.

"They toured Uriah Hill and they were very pleased with what they saw," Willis said. "Tomorrow a lot of the administrators from various programs are also going to be looking at Uriah Hill. Tonight their Board of Education is considering a partnership with Peekskill in which they would look at Uriah Hill as an option for their programs, and we're very confident that something will happen in that regard."

Occupancy in the building would likely start in fall 2013, Willis said. A majority or all of the building could be occupied, she said. The BOCES occupancy could also bring a solution to the crowding at Woodside.

"When I talked about our problems with Woodside and pre-k, they were excited that they could possibly use Uriah Hill as one of their laboratories for their pre-k program," Willis said. "We would create space at Uriah Hill for our pre-k students at which they would provide instruction."

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