Orchard Park Supervisor Janis Colarusso has met with school officials to discuss the acquisition of the district administration building for a senior center.
Senior citizens have started a campaign to obtain the old Baker Road school when the district moves to its new administration headquarters on Southwestern Boulevard later this year.
“I think we made great headway today in discussing where we could be and what we could see for the future for the seniors,” Colarusso said at Wednesday’s Town Board meeting.
She said she and former Councilman David Buyer met with Superintendent Matthew McGarrity and Assistant Superintendent for Business Jeffrey Petrus. They talked of “where they want to go and where we would like to go,” she said.
“We did not discuss anything permanently, and that’s because I have two counterparts here that I have to bring into the conversation,” she said, referring to the two town councilmen.
The Orchard Park Senior Council raised $37,000 last year to put toward a new center. Seniors say the 7,000-square-foot center on Linwood Avenue is cramped and does not have enough parking.
Jacqueline Briggs, president of the Senior Council, has presented the Town Board with more than 500 signatures on petitions calling for a new center. She asked the board to move forward on a new center that would be an “inter-generational community campus which will include enough room for the senior population of Orchard Park to have adequate rooms for programs, a gym for wellness activities and a place where seniors can meet friends and prevent isolation.”
Seniors did want the school district to sell the school for a token $1, but McGarrity said it cannot, since the sale or lease of the building is part of the financing package for the new administration and transportation center.
The superintendent confirmed the district is talking with the town, and he said it could sell the building without taking bids and accepting a fair market price.
“We want to support the town, we want to support the seniors. We want to help them,” he said.