Referendum on sale of City of Tonawanda school building is Tuesday - The Buffalo News

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Referendum on sale of City of Tonawanda school building is Tuesday

The Tonawanda City School District is hoping the second time will be the charm, as another referendum on the sale of the Central School building will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Tonawanda High School Wellness Gym.

The district is hoping to sell the Central School building and adjacent parking lot at 203 Broad St. to Hunt and Associates for $165,000.

The building has not been open for full-time academics for more than a decade and is currently used primarily as storage for the district. The Board of Education approved the deal in September, but it needs voter approval before it can be finalized.

Superintendent James Newton said last week at a School Board meeting that it’s likely the building will be converted by Kenmore Development, a subsidiary of Hunt and Associates that rents one- and two-bedroom apartments in complexes throughout the area. However, Scott Hunt, of Hunt and Associates, said Friday that the company may also convert the building into community center or spaces for artists.

“We very well might still do (apartments), but there’s a lot of classroom space and a full-size gym,” Hunt said. “(We might also develop) some kind of community center and, over time, see how it evolves.”

This is the second time this year the sale of the Central School building has needed voter approval.

The district previously sold the building to developer David Capretto in April for $220,000, and residents approved the referendum, 722-311, during the annual school budget and board election vote in May.

However, Capretto told administrators over the summer that he was unable to receive special tax and funding designations to develop the property and walked away from the deal.

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