Buildings and Grounds

The Department of Buildings and Grounds and its staff are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the district’s school and office buildings, as well as its acres of grounds and athletic fields. Its mission is to keep the buildings safe and conducive to learning while protecting the public’s investment in its facilities. In addition to preventative maintenance and housekeeping, the department is also responsible for long-range planning, budget development and implementation, capital improvements, environmental regulation compliance, health and safety code compliance, New York State Education Department facility code compliance, employee training and risk assessment, and public use of buildings and grounds.

Use of School Facilities

It is the policy of the Board to encourage the greatest possible use of school facilities for community-wide activities including those uses permitted by New York State law. Groups wishing to use the school facilities must secure written permission from the Board of Education or its designee and abide by the rules and regulations established for use including restrictions on alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. The district reserves the right to charge a fee for the use of its facilities in a manner consistent with law, and on terms specified in regulation or by agreement with these organizations.

District Safety Plan

The district considers the safety of its students and staff to be of the utmost importance and is keenly aware of the evolving nature of threats to schools. As such, it will address those threats accordingly through appropriate emergency response planning. The districtwide school safety plan and the building-level emergency response plan will be designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies and to facilitate the coordination of schools and the district with local and county resources in the event of these incidents or emergencies.

These plans will be reviewed by the appropriate team on at least an annual basis and updated as needed by September 1. Specifically, the Board of Education will make each districtwide school safety plan available for public comment at least 30 days prior to its adoption. The districtwide school safety plans may only be adopted by the school board after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students, and any other interested parties. Additionally, the districtwide school safety plan will designate the Superintendent of Schools or designee as the chief emergency officer responsible for coordinating communication between school staff and law enforcement and first responders, and for ensuring staff understanding of this plan. Similarly, the superintendent will be responsible for ensuring the completion and yearly updating of building-level emergency response plans.

Pesticide Notification

The district’s IPM Coordinator or designated pesticide representative will give prior written notice of all pesticide applications to anyone who has asked to receive such notice. The district will also notify parents, students and staff of periodic pesticide applications. The district will maintain a list of those people who wish to receive 48 hour notice before pesticide applications and will ensure that a system is developed to deliver such notice in a timely fashion to all affected. The notification system may be by mail or email, and will ensure that a back-up method is available to notify those for whom the regular system is unworkable. The name and contact information for the district pesticide representative will be made available to all requesting it.

Sample forms for 48 hour prior notification can be obtained in the Pesticide Neighbor Notification for Schools Guidance Document on the New York State Education Department website.

The district must also provide additional written notification to all parents and staff three times per year to inform them of any pesticide applications that have occurred: within ten days of the end of the school year, within two school days of the end of winter recess and within two days of the end of spring recess.

Asbestos Notification

In accordance with the EPA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1987 (40 CFR Part 763), the OESJ Central School District put in place a management plan to identify and manage asbestos building materials. Periodic surveillances are done every six months. In addition, abatement projects have been conducted in conjunction with the building construction. Specific notifications are posted in the buildings where projects are done prior to the start of the abatement work. This spring the Triennial Re-inspection will be done, reviewing and updating the management plan for all of the district buildings.

The Asbestos Management Plan for the district is kept on file at the District Office. These records are available for review during regular business hours or by making a special appointment. For more information, contact the Office of Buildings and Grounds at (518) 568-7280.

School Drinking Water Testing for Lead

In 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed landmark legislation (S.8158/A.10740) mandating that schools across the state test drinking water for lead contamination. Lead is a toxic material that is extremely harmful to young children and can result in lowered IQ, behavioral problems and brain damage. The state Department of Health also issued emergency regulations pursuant to the new legislation.

Lead in water testing – August 2021

Information from the state Health Department about the lead in water testing program.