One suggestion was to create a supplemental training site for special education students, a place where they could learn home and housekeeping skills.
Another possibility is to turn the house into a small business. “There’s small businesses in communities and in other districts where the students in our life skills program could actually create products that they could sell,” Leahy said. “Eventually, this could become a fundraising stream.”
A third possibility is to create an alternate high school setting for students who suffer from extreme anxiety and depression — students that are “school phobic.”
The cost of purchasing and renovating the house would be $750,000.
“As I sit here and listen to all the needs this district has at this time and the financial situation, I know in many people’s heads is, ‘Why would you buy a house?’” Leahy said. “And one of the reasons besides the reasons I’ve tried to articulate for its use is that the opportunity is very unique. It’s a relatively rare opportunity to find a house next to a school that happens to be for sale.”
The board was expected to present its final proposal for the bond at a meeting on Tuesday, after the Herald went to press. The public will be able to vote in the bond referendum on March 19, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.