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Nov 16, 2011 10:06 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Quogue School District Poised To Buy Land

Nov 16, 2011 12:38 PM

The East Quogue School District is moving forward with plans to buy a residential property that’s adjacent to its Central Avenue elementary school, land that could eventually be used to accommodate an expansion project.

The 1-acre property, which is located at 10 Central Avenue, sits just south of the elementary school; a vacant house currently stands on the property.

At Tuesday night’s School Board meeting, East Quogue Superintendent Les Black announced that a contract has been drawn up for the acquisition, which is estimated to cost approximately $250,000—below market value. He added that district attorneys and lawyers representing the property owner—the estate of Louise Oliver, according to town records—are finalizing the agreement. Mr. Black said he expects to have the contract in his hands over the next few days.

According to Mr. Black, the district will eventually demolish the house, though no formal plans are in place for what to do with the property. Possible uses include additional classrooms or office space; school officials have been interested in the land for the past several years, citing potential overcrowding concerns in the future.

“It was the feeling of the board, and a good number of people in the community, that it makes sense to make the acquisition now,” Mr. Black said at the meeting. “The price is right, there will be very little impact on the community and there is money in the budget so it will not cost anything additional.

“This is a safeguard for the increased enrollment that is anticipated in the future,” he added.

Once the contract is signed, Mr. Black said the first of several public hearings will be scheduled regarding what the district should do with the land. Taxpayers will ultimately be asked, via a public referendum, to sign off on any type of school expansion project.

Also on Tuesday, the School Board hired the architectural firm of Burton Behrendt Smith, which has offices in Patchogue, to draw up plans. The district also plans to seek bids to demolish the house.

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