Sale of Schools Close to Finish Line
Centennial School District officials expect to have the Leary, Longstreth and Stackpole properties off their hands in about five weeks.
The students, teachers and alumni of Leary, Longstreth and Stackpole elementary schools have made their goodbyes to the buildings, and in a few short weeks the Centennial School District will say farewell to the properties as the sale to County Builders comes to a close.
The school board held a special meeting last night at the district administration building to give the board president, Dr. Andrew Pollock, and secretary, Chris Berdnik, who is also the district business administrator, permission to complete the terms of the deal approved in April.
"The due diligence period is over, and there have not been any issues," said Berdnik. "We are about five weeks away from wrapping everything up."
The board approved the sale of the buildings to real estate developer County Builders at the April 23 meeting for a grand total of $1.33 million. Community members experienced a bout of sticker shock at what they felt was a low sale price for a considerable amount of land, almost 15 acres per site.
Superintendent Dr. Jenny Cressman defended the sale agreement by pointing out several factors, including the continued cost to the district to maintain the empty buildings and keep them secure, the expense of building demolition that County Builders will now be responsible for and the danger of a charter school swooping in and claiming the properties.
Following the special meeting, the Operations Committee approved lease agreements with two tenants that moved their facilities last year from the Warminster WREC Center to Leary. The sale of Leary meant they would need to find new homes.
If the agreements are approved by the full school board at its August 21 meeting, the Bucks County Head Start program will hold a one-year lease for three classrooms at the district administration building for $12,250 each, a total of $36,700.
The Bucks County Intermediate Unit will lease for one year five and-a-half classrooms at the new Davis Elementary for $12,000 each. Assistant Superintendent William Gretton assured the committee that the new school is large enough to accommodate the tenants. More classrooms were included in anticipation of a full-day kindergarten program and the possibility of an increased student body population from planned developments in the Shenandoah Woods section of Warminster. Both scenarios could take years to become a reality.