A public hearing regarding Centennial School District’s proposed sale of the former Stackpole Elementary School property has been pushed back until October.
However, the hearings regarding the sale of the former Leary and Longstreth Elementary School properties proceeded as planned in courtroom no. 6 of the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown yesterday.
Attorney Mark Cappuccio, of Eastburn and Gray, P.C., presented the district’s petitions to sell both the former Leary and Longstreth properties to County Builders, Inc in front of Bucks County Judge C. Theodore Fritsch, Jr. and a handful of onlookers Thursday afternoon.
It was only toward the end of the nearly two-hour hearing that the reason for the continuance in the Stackpole matter was revealed: a lawyer scheduled to appear on behalf of a resident of Upper Southampton had fallen ill.
That resident —Alvaro Costa, of Amile Lane — said he was sure some back-room deals were going on in the agreement reached between Centennial and County Builders, Inc.
Costa owns Costa Homes, Inc., where he develops and constructs residential properties. He filed a formal petition with the court protesting the sale agreement Aug. 31.
Costa testified that he submitted a bid to buy the former elementary school and surrounding 13.54 acres of property on Strathmann Drive on April 23, but by the time the school board met at 8 o’clock that same evening County Builders had outbid his offer by adding $55,000 to their original bid, upping the ante from $425,000 to $480,000.
“Why didn’t [the school district] give me a chance to rebid?” Costa asked the court.
Cappuccio, in what seemed to be a reference to the bid process and its associated deadlines, asked only one question of Costa: “Were you aware of the advertisements?”
Costa said he was not disputing the advertisements but rather the way they were advertised.
“School district officials did not do their homework,” he said. “They should have reached out to all of the builders in the area.”
Costa said as a resident and a taxpayer in the district, the district was selling his property, as well as everyone else’s property, and as such they should be seeking the best possible return.
Costa told the court, “[he’s] willing to buy these properties at any price. Today. Tomorrow. Anytime.”
The hearing regarding the sale of the former Stackpole property to County Builders, Inc will be held Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 10 a.m. in courtroom no. 6 of the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown.