The following is an update on the exciting happenings at the District owned Marion Carll Property on Commack Road. As you know, the District has owned and has been seeking viable proposals for the restoration and use of the Property and its buildings, along with demonstrated available funding for years, with no success.
In 2018, the District formed the Marion Carll Property Committee. The Committee’s charge was to solicit and review proposals for the Property. The Committee ultimately received three (3) proposals, and at its May 8, 2019 meeting, reviewed all proposals in their entirety. Using a Ratings Rubric, they discussed each one - including a proposal that Long Island University (LIU) submitted that called for leasing a portion of the Property for use as a Veterinary School. They also reviewed a proposal from the Elvezio Brothers, and another from the Marion Carll Preserve, Inc. LIU’s proposal was the only proposal to receive a rubric score of 100 (each of the other proposals fell below 50). Therefore, the Committee voted unanimously (with one "do nothing at this time” vote) in favor of recommending the LIU Veterinary School proposal to the Board of Education.
It should be noted that the rubric was designed to assure proposals met the wishes of Mrs. Carll as set forth in her Will; a document to which the District is no longer legally bound but intends to philosophically stand by. Therefore, any proposal(s) offered to the District must have in some way been deemed to (1) meet these standards; (2) offer verified economic viability; and (3) demonstrate economic sustainability.
As a result of the recommendation from the Committee, the Board of Education signed a 10-year lease with LIU for 6.5 acres of the District’s 9-acre property to open a veterinary school. LIU has begun clearing the property of the abundance of dangerous overgrowth, weeds, and dead and dangerous trees. The high winds from the storm on June 30 knocked down quite a few additional trees and limbs, and most have been cleared. A new gravel parking area is taking shape that will allow for parking for students, visitors, and school buses. Further stabilization repairs on the main barn have also begun. In short order, additional improvements will be made to the remaining 2.5 acres as part of the LIU lease.
These improvements will allow:
- School field trips to the veterinary school and the property to engage students in agricultural activities;
- Student research associated with agriculture, and sustainable energy;
- The development of animal and agricultural career-exploration programs for Commack students;
- The development of agriculturally related, age-appropriate, hands-on, project-based curriculum for students including gardening, and bee-keeping;
- The development of adult education programs; and more.
We have made a commitment to using the Property for educational purposes. Further, funds from the lease, as well as other savings realized through LIU’s financial support of the Property, will allow us to stabilize the existing manor home and properly catalog and preserve its contents. We very much look forward to the coming years and the benefits we can share with our students and community through our association with Long Island University.