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Former North Tonawanda school destined for senior housing

A nearly century-old former public school in North Tonawanda, closed for 13 years, may be converted into 80 apartments targeted for senior citizens.

Savarino Development needs a rezoning and city Planning Board approval to carry out its plans for the building at 621 Payne Ave. The Common Council held a public hearing on the rezoning Wednesday, but did not vote.

Under the plan, the three-story, 113,000-square-foot school would be converted into a combination of one- and two-bedroom apartments. "They would be affordable apartments," Community Development Director Michael W. Zimmerman said.

The building opened as North Tonawanda High School in 1925, and in later years was called North Tonawanda Junior High, Payne Junior High and finally Lowry Middle School, which was its name when it closed in 2004.

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