The Beechwood Organization’s plan to redevelop a long-defunct school in Hauppauge with luxury senior condominiums is all but sunk.
Hauppauge school district residents last week voted 1,293-294 against the Long Island hamlet’s proposal to sell the Whiporwil School property to the Jericho-based developer, according to Newsday.
The school district listed the property at 495 Hoffman Lane last year after a study projected district enrollment would decline over the next 10 years. Officials drew up an agreement to sell the 12.8-acre property to Beechwood for $13 million.
The Beechwood Organization wanted to build 128 condos there, including about a dozen that would be affordable.
Beechwood said the project would generate $1 million in annual tax revenue for the school district. The deal was put to school district voters with a referendum.
The Whiporwill School shuttered in 1980 over concerns of harm from a nearby landfill, but local cheerleaders and sports teams practice on the property and the building has in the past been used as a polling site and a church.
The school also hosts early childhood programs. Those functions would have to be relocated if Beechwood redeveloped the site.
Many of those who voted against the sale argued the property was still a community asset.
“The response from the community is, we’re using the building,” said Patty Citro, a retired teacher who voted against the sale. “There was lack of confidence among the residents that the [school] board was prepared to make that transition and what it was going to cost us.”
Some also said the school district did not provide enough details on the relocation of services at the property.
Beechwood principal Steven Dubb acknowledged the vote effectively ends any negotiations between the school district and Beechwood.
“Other than exchanging pleasantries when I spoke to board members today, I think this is the end of the road and the people have spoken,” he told Newsday.
[Newsday] — Dennis Lynch