The Tonawanda City School District is hoping the second time will be the charm, as another referendum vote on the sale of the Central School building will be held Tuesday in the Tonawanda High School Wellness Gym from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The district is hoping to sell the Central building and adjacent parking lot at 203 Broad St. to Hunt and Associates for $165,000.
The Central building has not been open for full-time academics for more than a decade, and is currently used primarily as storage for the district. The Board of Education approved the deal in September, but it needs voter approval before it can be finalized.
Superintendent James Newton said last week at a School Board meeting that it’s likely Central will be converted by Kenmore Development, a subsidiary of Hunt and Associates that rents one- and two-bedroom apartments in complexes throughout the area. However, Scott Hunt of Hunt and Associates said Friday the company may also convert the building into community center or spaces for artists.
“We very well might still do [apartments], but there’s a lot of classroom space and a full-size gym,” Hunt said. “[We might also develop] some kind of community center, and, over time, see how it evolves.”
This is the second time this year the sale of Central building has needed voter approval. The district previously sold the building to developer David Capretto in April for $220,000, and residents approved the referendum 722-311 during the annual school budget and board election vote in May.
However, Capretto told administrators over the summer that he was unable to receive special tax and funding designations to develop the property and walked away from the deal.