Developer seeks Levittown school property

Island Trees school district officials are considering selling Island Trees school district officials are considering selling property on Farmedge Road, the site of Geneva N. Gallow School, pictured here, and Stephen E. Karopczyc School. Both closed more than 20 years ago. A developer wants to build a senior housing complex on the site. Photo Credit: Google

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A developer wants to buy two former schools in Levittown to build a senior housing complex with as many as 247 homes.

Island Trees School District officials are considering selling the property on Farmedge Road, the site of Geneva N. Gallow School and Stephen E. Karopczyc School. Both closed more than 20 years ago.

The Karopczyc school building is now the Island Trees Public Library and school district offices, both of which would be relocated if the site is sold, district officials said. A Nassau BOCES preschool program moved out of the Gallow building in June and it has been vacant since then.

District officials would not identify the developer -- the leading bidder among several interested in the property -- who wants to build 160 to 247 units for residents 55 and older. The proposal will be discussed at a public forum Monday night.

Island Trees would gain $700,000 in annual savings and tax revenue from the sale, district Superintendent Charles Murphy said.

"We would take two burdens off our hands," he said. "This revenue opens up the world for our district."

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Murphy declined to disclose details about the project, saying the district is still negotiating with bidders. The project would need to be approved by a public referendum, he said.

District parents have questioned the selling the property.

"What's going to happen when the population goes back up and they need places to put these kids?" said Mike Rich, a father of three children in the district.

A similar plan to build senior housing at the site of a vacant school building in Seaford has also faced resistance from residents.

BK at Seaford LLC, a subsidiary of The Engel Burman Group in Garden City, is seeking a zone change to allow for the 112-unit The Seasons at Seaford senior-living development. The Hempstead Town Board postponed making a decision on the request on Tuesday after a nearly three-hour hearing.

The Levittown public forum is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Island Trees High School auditorium, located at 59 Straight Lane in Levittown.

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