Port Washington-based Be the Best Sport, a nonprofit that runs sports programs for children and adults with special needs, has expressed interest in buying the Coles School site in Glen Cove, Deputy Mayor Barbara Peebles said.
The city owns the 84-year-old school and had been exploring whether to sell at least half the 4-acre property for development and keep the half that includes the school for a cultural center or other public use.
But that proposal was complicated by the recent release of a study by Syosset-based LiRo Engineers Inc. that estimated renovating the school would cost $9.4 million, more than double previous projections. Some city officials said that price tag makes it much less likely the school will be saved.StoryCost to save old school skyrockets to $9.4M
The neoclassical-style building housed a public elementary school from 1931 until 1992. The city purchased it from the Glen Cove City School District in 2002 and leased it to a Jewish school until 2011.
Be the Best Sport proposes building a multisport complex that would include a for-profit component to generate taxes for the city, Peebles said. Be the Best Sport officials would try to preserve part of the school, such as the facade, she said.
A spokesman for Be The Best Sport said Monday the organization has inquired about the site but he declined to provide details about its interest.
"We're looking into it but it hasn't progressed to the point to say whether it's going to happen or not going to happen," the spokesman said.
Be the Best Sport officials are scheduled to present their proposal to City Council members at the Sept. 16 pre-council meeting, Peebles said.
Over the past few months, Glen Cove officials have focused on two development proposals for the property: one from Great Neck-based Namdar Group to construct 120 apartments and four duplexes, and one from Virginia-based Artis Senior Living to build a 72-bed facility for people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
Artis is willing to pay a small part of school renovation costs, Peebles said. Namdar had previously offered to pay the full cost for renovations. After the new cost estimate was released, Namdar said it would pay to tear down Coles and build a new one-story, 10,000-square-foot structure for the city. LiRo estimated that would cost $5 million.
The current 25,000-square-foot building needs new electrical, ventilation, hot-water, plumbing and sprinkler systems, and must be made accessible to people with disabilities, the report said.