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Voters to cast ballots on St. Paul's School

Exterior of St. Paul's School main building in

Exterior of St. Paul's School main building in Garden City. (Nov. 8. 2007) Photo Credit: Newsday / Jim Peppler

Garden City residents will cast votes Wednesday that may decide the future of the historic St. Paul’s School.

The village referendum will record whether voters favor demolition of the 128-year-old former Episcopal boys boarding school, once one of the top prep schools in the country.

The village council has approved floating $3.75 million in bonds to demolish the structure, but officials have said they want the support of the public before proceeding. The referendum is nonbinding.

For 18 years, Garden City has tried to preserve the nationally recognized architectural landmark, spending at least $100,000 a year to maintain the four-story red brick building, topped with spires and gargoyles, which has about 500 rooms, village officials said.

The village bought the brick palace from the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island in 1993 for $7.25 million. Since then, the village has tried and failed to find a feasible use for the structure, village officials said.

Four years ago, voters rejected a plan to preserve St. Paul’s by converting the structure into upscale condominiums.

Voting will take place at the field house at St. Paul’s School on Stewart Avenue, from noon until 9 p.m.

Photo: The exterior of the main building of the former St. Pauls School in Garden City.

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