Written by Daniel Offner Friday, 11 April 2014 00:00
In response to the criticism from the community over the proposed sale of 11.3 acres of school district property housing the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow school facilities, the Island Trees Board of Education has revealed the details of an $18 million proposal to develop housing for seniors (age 55 and up).
“People should be aware of the whole story,” said Island Trees Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “There is this perception that [the board] acted hastily... It was not just a quick decision over chump change.”
After losing a $340,000-a-year lease with Nassau BOCES special education preschool program, the school board sought a new tenant for the Gallow school. Unable to find an appropriate tenant, the Board of Education started investigating a sale of the property.
A recent letter from the Island Trees Board of Education states that as a result of its investigation, the board hired Breslin Appraisal Co., which valued the property at $5.5 million. “Remarkably, the first round of real estate bids produced offers far and above the appraisal and what the Board had envisioned for the property,” the letter says.
Last December, the district received an initial bid of $17.2 million for the property, which it said is higher than any Long Island school district has been offered for a similar property.
“In truth, the Board would have been severely criticized for not pursuing their mandated fiduciary responsibility of gaining the highest and best offer for the property,” the board continued, “after all, how could the board not entertain an offer of this magnitude?”
After reviewing the proposal, the school district’s real estate consultant, Oxford and Simpson, negotiated with various bidders, eventually driving the offer over $18 million.
In February, the district held a community forum to announce the proposal to develop 147 to 250 condominium units for seniors. Over 500 parents filed into the Island Trees High School auditorium in vehement opposition to the project.
“[The board] has taken a lot of hits from this,” Murphy said. “They did it with the best of intentions.”
In response to the outpouring of complaints, school officials have said the district will create a committee of community stakeholders to review options for the property. According to Murphy, there are approximately 60 people already interested in serving on the Farmedge committee.
“With this information, the public may understand more clearly that the Board has had the best interests of both the community and the students in mind from the very start,” he said. “We tried to maximize the value for Island Trees residents.”
Saturday, 27 September 2014 00:00
The founders of the popular Facebook group “Massapequa Moms,” a ‘virtual living room with 6,700 people,’ are leveraging their social media power to create a new discount loyalty card good all over Long Island—including, they hope, in Levittown.
With a hugely popular Facebook community, co-founders Dawn Boyle Kostakis and Stephanie Hartman wanted to “figure out a way that we could help the consumer and the business owner at the same time; keeping commerce going, keeping it all local and having the people get a little bang for their buck,” said Kostakis. They wanted to serve more than just Massapequa, too, and the Long Island Loyalty card was born.
Friday, 26 September 2014 00:00
The featured speaker at the Levittown Historical Society’s September meeting was John Owens, editor in chief of Anton Community Newspapers, the publisher of the Levittown Tribune.
Historical society Vice President Bob Koenig opened the meeting, which was held at the Levittown Public Library.
Owens discussed the opioid epidemic that has swept over Long Island. Not only have thousands of residents become addicted to prescription painkillers and heroin, Owens said, but also, over the past two years there have been more than 240 overdose deaths.
Thursday, 25 September 2014 13:27
Saturday, Sept. 27
9 a.m. Boys Varsity Soccer Great Neck South at MacArthur
9:15 a.m. JV Football Lawrence at Division
10 a.m. Boys JV Soccer West Hemsptead at Division
10 a.m. Boys Varsity Soccer Division at West Hempstead
Thursday, 25 September 2014 13:25
As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which took place on Sept. 13 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.
“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”