The Lawrence School District moved one step closer to selling the Number Six School on Monday, when Board of Education trustees voted 4-2 to approve the sale to Bronx-based Simone Development Companies, which plans to lease the building to Mt. Sinai Hospital, to be used as a multi-specialty medical practice.
The expected purchase price is $12.5 million. The sale is subject to a public referendum scheduled for March 20.
Board President Dr. Asher Mansdorf, Vice President Murray Forman and Trustees Dr. Solomon Blisko and Dr. David Sussman voted in favor of the sale, while Trustees Uri Kaufman and Abel Feldhamer were opposed. Trustee Rabbi Nahum Marcus was not present for the vote.
“Our objective was to obtain the highest price and the highest certainty of close,” said Forman, speaking for the board and its real estate committee, which, along with real estate broker Greiner-Maltz, reviewed bids over the past 18 months. The Number Six School, at 523 Church Ave. in Woodmere, has been closed since March 2009.
Calling it “a very sad day for the district,” Kaufman objected to entering into the contract with Simone based on its plan to pave over the school’s ball fields and recreational space to create parking. “We have a lot of kids in this district,” Kaufman said. “We lose open space, we lose it forever.”
The proposed sale would put the building back on the tax rolls and generate upward of $1 million in property taxes, nearly 70 percent of which would go to the school district.
About 40 residents who live near the school building attended Monday’s board meeting to voice their opposition to the sale. Many, like Cedarhurst resident Mark Liebowitz, contended that a medical facility would generate too much traffic and have a negative impact on the community. “A yeshiva school of the JCC would be better for the community,” Liebowitz said. “We are very family-oriented.”