After hearing from three real estate agents, the Tonawanda City School Board delayed a vote Tuesday to finalize a deal with a firm to market the vacant Central School building.
Tonawanda officials hope to further decrease the district’s footprint by selling the Central building, which has long been used as storage and rental space.
The district has heard presentations from Reality USA, M.J. Peterson and Hunt Commercial Real Estate. The firms each discussed how they would market the building, but the board tabled its decision so board members could have more time to review their information.
Complicating the sale of Central is the fact that another former district building, Highland Elementary, just went back on the market. The district closed Highland due to falling enrollment in 2008. Tonawanda tried to sell the building through Reality USA, but the property was ultimately sold at auction for $152,000 last year.
The building was purchased for a proposed People Inc. location, but it never materialized. The Highland property is now priced at $325,000.
Hunt representative David Supon said the Central building is similar to the Highland property and may fetch a similar price.
“You’re aware that it’s a very difficult market now, especially for schools and churches,” Supon told the board. “The key is getting it off your hands as soon as possible.”
If the Central building is sold to an interested party, Tonawanda voters must approve the final sale through a district referendum.
In other news, board President Jackie Smilinich said the district is still reviewing candidates for the vacant superintendent position and hopes to have a final decision made by the end of December.
Whitney Vantine retired as Tonawanda superintendent in October. Mary Beth Scullion, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, has been serving as the interim superintendent.