Editorial: No sense holding on to an unused school

A former school, located at 220 Washington Avenue

A former school, located at 220 Washington Avenue in Deer Park, is shown on March 1, 2014. The Deer Park school district plans to sell a former school property to a developer that would build housing for senior living on the 17.7-acre site, district officials said. Photo Credit: Newsday / Ed Betz

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Another former school building is up for sale, and another round of anguished protests is underway.

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This time the action is in Deer Park, where some residents object to the potential sale of property on Washington Avenue. It's one of three disused buildings in a district that's steadily losing enrollment. District officials say private programs leasing space in the building can be relocated and that a sale would bring in as much as $6.6 million, eliminate maintenance costs and put the property back on the tax rolls.

The proposal will be discussed at a board of education meeting Tuesday and residents will vote on the plan in the May 20 elections. Holding on to vacant school buildings in the face of declining enrollment and denying relief to taxpayers make no sense.


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