West Genesee Schools looking to buy Westvale Golf Course

by Joanne Miller

West Genesee High School in Camillus, New York is looking to expand their facilities by purchasing approximately 117 acres of land from their neighbor, Westvale Golf Course. The school’s Board of Education recently held a special meeting on September 16th to discuss the contract for the purchase, which would include the 18-hole golf course, the clubhouse, and the parking lot.

According to West Genesee’s superintendent, David Bills, the potential acquisition of this land is seen as a positive move for the district. In a letter to the district and community, Bills stated that the additional space and access points provided by the property could have a significant impact on the future of the district and the opportunities available to its students. The location of the land, relative to the current West Genesee CSD and with access to West Genesee Street and Kasson Road, makes it convenient and accessible for all district buildings and age groups.

Bills mentioned that the possibility of purchasing the golf course property was first brought to their attention in February. Since then, there have been ongoing discussions and will continue to be Board of Education meetings, community forums, and a proposition for a vote of approval on the matter. The date of the vote is tentatively set for December 11th, pending the completion of necessary processes such as an environmental site assessment.

If the purchase goes through, the land would not be exclusively used by the high school but would benefit all grade levels from Pre-K to Grade 12. The district has outlined several potential uses for the area, including expanded academic programming, career and technical program expansion, a transportation facility meeting zero emission standards, athletic and fine arts facilities, increased parking, outdoor/environmental programs, expansion of Universal Pre-Kindergarten programming, and potential partnerships with the Town of Camillus and OCM BOCES.

Bills emphasized that the district is committed to growth in academic programs, expansion of experiences, and potential partnerships that could be realized through this property purchase. He believes that the acquisition will have a significant impact on the community, opening opportunities that are currently not available. The financial impact for residents and taxpayers is estimated at a cost of $0.022 per thousand or $2.20 for a home assessed at $100,000.

West Genesee is open to listening to the thoughts, ideas, and concerns of the community regarding this process and decision. It is important to note that any work on the property will not be immediate and will be presented for public vote, with the potential to impact the future for many years to come. The district will provide updates on the progress of the acquisition as it continues.

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