Written by Daniel Offner Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00
Gallow lease puts kibosh on development
After plans to develop senior housing on the 11.3 acres of school district property fell through, members of the Island Trees School Board of Education met to discuss a new lease agreement for the Geneva N. Gallow school building.
According to Island Trees Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy, proposals for the development of 160 to 247 condominium units for seniors over 55 years old were tossed aside when the board voted, on June
25, to approve a four-year lease agreement with the Syosset-based Variety Child Learning Center, a not-for-profit learning center providing special education and support services for students with developmental and learning disabilities.
“I think this puts [the proposal] to rest for the distant future,” Murphy said.
The aforementioned proposal first emerged after 2010, when Nassau County BOCES announced it would be dropping its lease on the Gallow school. Since then, the district had been looking for a new tenant, to no avail.
Citing a potential loss in revenue of over $200,000, school officials issued a request for proposal, last year, which resulted in the proposed development of senior housing on the site.
However, in February, over 500 residents in the district gathered at the high school to share concerns on the bid winning proposal. In response to the public outcry school officials said they would go back to the drawing board, reexamining the project with a committee of community stakeholders.
Now, the district has changed direction, agreeing to rent the Geneva N. Gallow building for $100,000 plus utilities for the first year, with the price set to increase by $50,000 annually. According to Murphy, the Variety Child Learning Center has agreed to take responsibility for the utilities and small maintenance costs needed for their day-to-day operations. The district can expect to receive over $700,000 in revenue, over the term of the lease.