Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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March 13, 2014

Hunt school building put up for sale

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

The Lockport City School District is accepting offers to purchase the Washington Hunt School property, 50 Rogers Ave., until 4 p.m. March 28. 

Washington Hunt is an approximately 33,200 square-foot, two-story building. Those interested should contact Deborah Coder, assistant superintendent for finance and management services, at 478-4828 to arrange a tour of the school and obtain the district’s form of contract for the sale.

The property was appraised at $195,000 by Darrel R. Lloyd, Jr. with IREM Solutions, Inc. Copies of the appraisal and asbestos report are available for review with the submission of a $25 deposit, district officials said.

Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley said others have approached the district about buying Hunt, but a deal never materialized. Board of Education members even talked about a potential buyer at a January meeting.

"So the board decided to advertise the property," Bradley said.

While the city school district has no control over what a buyer would do with the property, Bradley said officials would keep the neighborhood's well-being in mind when selling the property.

"The board certainly wants it to be neighborhood friendly," she said.

Washington Hunt was closed this past June after the conclusion of the 2012-13 school year. The building, which once housed 250 or so kids, would have been too costly to maintain, district officials said.

Hunt is one of three Lockport schools that when open were not ADA compliant. The other two are DeWitt Clinton and John Pound. Clinton was closed two years before Hunt and is now owned by Head Start of Niagara County, while Pound was transformed into the district’s early childhood center.

Per state education law, the sale of a school building would have to be approved by district voters. Residents could approve it as a proposition at the district’s annual budget vote on May 20. Board members would have to vote by the end of March to place it on the ballot.

If Hunt was sold, it would be the second building that the district has sold in recent years. DeWitt Clinton was sold to Head Start of Niagara County in 2011.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241, or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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