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Public meetings to be held on sale of John L. Edwards

  • Empty
    John L. Edwards Primary School will close its doors after the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
  • Empty
    Students at John L. Edwards Primary School, 360 State St., will soon be attending school at Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School, 102 Harry Howard Avenue.
March 22, 2018 11:30 pm

HUDSON — Hudson City School District Superintendent Maria Suttmeier assured members of the public and the Common Council at its meeting Tuesday the sale of John L. Edwards Primary School would be an open and transparent process.

Suttmeier was invited to speak at the meeting Tuesday by members of the Common Council. The invitation comes after 4th Ward Supervisor Linda Mussmann suggested at the council’s February meeting’s public comment period that members keep up-to-date with the status of the sale.

John L. Edwards Primary School, at 360 State St., will be up for sale when the school is vacated by the end of the summer, Suttmeier said.

Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School, at 102 Harry Howard Ave., will become a pre-K to fifth-grade campus in September at the start of the 2018-19 school year.

While the building will be put up for sale in the future, it is not on the market at this time, she said.

“The board has been in conversation with the district leadership that we do want to sell the building,” Suttmeier said. “It has to be approved by the voters. We can’t sell it for less than what we owe on the property, so we’re talking in executive session about what the fair market value would be.”

The Hudson City Board of Education adopted the resolution to close John L. Edwards Primary School on Feb. 12.

“We can’t sell it for less than what the debt service is on that building,” Suttmeier said. “The last I looked at it, which wasn’t too long ago, was about $4 million.”

The building, which measures 90,000 square feet, contains a gymnasium and full commercial kitchen.

“We know that we are right-sizing our district down to two campuses, so there is no sense in us keeping that building for the long-term,” Suttmeier said.

Mayor Rick Rector is having discussions with the Columbia County Board of Supervisors about selling the building, Common Council President Thomas DePietro said.

“There will be public meetings about it in the future where everyone will have opportunity to say what they think what should be done with the building,” DePietro said.

School district officials are interested in hearing input from the city, county and public about the sale, Suttmeier said.

“It will be a transparent process as much as it can be,” Suttmeier said. “Like I said, I can’t really speak about anything that might change the value of the property — the fair market value of the property — anything that can be publicly discussed will be. It is no secret that we’re not in the real estate business. We’re in the educational world, so the building will be up for sale.”

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to apurcell@thedailymail.net, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.