Orange-Ulster BOCES finalizes lease of former Arden Hill hospital in Goshen

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:39

    New centralized facility projected to save $3 million a year by returning 400 students who now receive programming outside Orange County Goshen — Orange-Ulster BOCES has finalized a lease agreement to occupy the former Arden Hill Hospital located in Goshen. BOCES will lease the property from Arden Local Development Corporation for approximately $495,000 per year for no less than ten years. The property lends itself to the consolidation of a number of BOCES programs; it’s estimated that it will take two to three years to complete the transition. But plans are already underway to convert the building into an educational center which will house programs for adult education, career and technical education, special education, instructional support services and technology. BOCES currently operates these programs in Harriman, Chester, Newburgh, Middletown and various other satellite locations throughout Orange County. First moves According to Elizabeth Xanthis, the BOCES community relations coordinator, the first programs to move will be from Harriman (Tech services, records management, instructional services and library). The Adult Learning Center in Middletown, which houses the nursing program, also will move; eventually students will be moved from Chester. BOCES Division of Instructional Support Services will be moving and will be more centrally located for the component districts to take part in professional development activities and all of the trainings that the Race to the Top initiatives are requiring. Some of these programs are targeted to be up and running in the 2012-2013 school year. Projected savings BOCES officials said transportation savings for local school districts is one of BOCES’ primary objectives for consolidating some of its programs to Arden Hill. Approximately 400 students are now transported out of Orange County for programming that would remain in the county if there were space for them. The projected savings of bringing these students back to Goshen could be as much as $3 million per year, officials said. Several key features of the Arden Hill Campus also lend themselves to making the availability of the Arden Hill campus a cost-effective benefit: • Arden Hill is located at the geographic center of Orange County and near the Orange-Ulster BOCES’ main campus on Gibson Road in the Town of Goshen. While there will be some program shifts, the Gibson Road property will remain the primary BOCES site. • The current architectural design lends itself to reconfiguration from a hospital to an educational center. Xanthis said the Career & Tech’s Health Careers programs and New Vision Medical are ideally suited to move to Arden Hill. The adult practical nursing program will also benefit from the facility. Both of those programs will be able to offer classes in a “hospital” environment. The Division of Special Education will be able to consolidate programs based upon grouping by similar. • The buildings have been well-maintained, and BOCES’ use of the buildings is compatible with the surrounding community. “By consolidating some of BOCES’ key services to the Arden Hill Campus,” said Terrence L. Olivo, Orange-Ulster BOCES’ chief operating officer, “we will provide unique opportunities for school districts, significant cost reductions, opportunities to expand offerings, increased workforce development for high school students and adults and additional opportunities for increased local employment. It is a 'win-win’ for everyone.” Arden Local Development Corporation Arden Local Development Corporation is a Class C public authority, which is described by the New York State Comptroller’s Office “as a corporate instrument of the state created by the Legislature to further public interests.” Arden Local was one of two development corporations created to purchase the Goshen and Middletown campuses of Orange Regional Medical Center. This financial approach allowed Orange Regional to gain state Health Department approval for the construction of its new hospital center in the Town of Wallkill. Orange Regional had been leasing the properties from the development corporations until it could open its new medical center in August. The Arden Hill property The former hospital property is situated on approximately 33 acres of land immediately adjacent to Route 17 in the town of Goshen. It consists of six separate buildings, totaling 196,350 square feet. The hospital had 174 beds prior to its closing. Source: