Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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April 3, 2014

Gym wants to buy Hunt

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Ultimate Physique’s pending purchase of Washington Hunt is now in the hands of Lockport City School District voters.

As per state law, residents will go to the ballot May 20 to consider the district’s budget and a few other items, among which is the Hunt sale. The Board of Education approved the selling of the school Wednesday to the gym for $65,000.

Deborah Coder, the district’s assistant superintendent for finance, said Ultimate Physique was the only offer Lockport received. District officials decided last month to advertise that the former school was for sale, asking for offers that included a price and plan for use of the property.

“There was some interest, some inquiries,” Coder said. “But they were the only viable offer.”

A phone call to Ultimate Physique owner Robert Muscarella was not returned Wednesday night.

Coder and Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley said Ultimate Physique is planning on moving from its 20 Ann St. location to the former school.

The sale was partially contingent on whether or not the district felt a buyer would be detrimental to the neighborhood. If a buyer was seen as a potential problem to the surrounding homes, the board wouldn’t have approved the sale, officials said.

“We feel they’ll be good neighbors,” Coder said.

Washington Hunt is an approximately 33,200 square-foot, two-story building at 50 Rogers Ave. It was appraised at $195,000 by Darrel R. Lloyd, Jr. with IREM Solutions, Inc. 

The school was closed last June at the conclusion of the 2012-13 school year. Once housing 250 or so kids, the school had became too costly to update and maintain, district officials said.

When open, Hunt was one of three Lockport schools that were not ADA compliant, the other two being DeWitt Clinton and John Pound.

Clinton was closed two years before Hunt was and is now owned by Head Start of Niagara County, which bought the property in 2011. Pound was transformed into the district’s early childhood center.

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

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