April 26, 2006
Town To Purchase Peconic School?
After years of debate regarding the fate of the Peconic School in Southold, the site may soon see sparks of rebirth.
At a recent town board work session, board members discussed a proposal to purchase the school on Peconic Lane and turn it into a community center.
Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said that he has been discussing the prospect with Southold School Superintendent Chris Gallagher for some months and is "very excited" about the property's potential.
Southold Director of Public Works Jim McMahon was present at the work session to discuss the condition of the building.
Although the school needed a new roof two-and-a-half years ago, McMahon said that since then, that issue has been addressed. But while the walls appear to be in decent shape, the heating system is no longer functional, he said. The town board asked to see a previous engineering study performed on the site.
Russell said the idea of a community center at the school would complement the area because the building is close to the current rec center and nearby parks, and the neighborhood has become a "recreational hub" of the town. It also has four acres of property in the back where events can be held.
The facility, which features three large classrooms and a stage, would be perfect for Scouts and other public groups that need a place to meet, said Russell.
"It is a stunning building and, with a little work, can be a community show piece that the community can be proud of," said Russell.
While the town has, in the past, considered purchasing the school, it was never a done deal. Factors included the district's decision to hold onto the school in anticipation of future needs.
In recent months, Gallagher and the Southold School Board have discussed a number of ways to control budget costs, including the possible sale of the Peconic School. Although the school district has their own appraisal of the facility, the town board authorized one of its own.