School’s Out move met with concerns

BC building sale sees some opposition at community meeting

— Residents were concerned about the increase in traffic and a lack of parking.

“I’m a parent now and I go and pick up my child at that site and I would say I never see more than six cars there at a time,” said Meagan Mazzarino. “And I live on the street, guys ... there isn’t ever a mass exodus of children.”

Some were also concerned about plans to remove some parking spots so green space or a playground could be placed on the property for children to play outdoors.

Residents said they have had trouble recently with older kids in the small, nearby pocket park and have had to called the police. Mazzarino suggested that School’s Out work with the town to use the park as its green space so children would still have a place to play, adding it might act as a deterrent for the teens gathering there.

Some residents complained they were not given enough notice of the meeting and asked for more transparency, while others thought the sale was a good idea.

John Coffey, a resident of Adams Place for 25 years, said he supports the project.

“The alternative is the building is going sit here empty,” he said.

Others felt the property is not the right place for School’s Out.

“My quality of life will definitely go down,” said Yanulavich. “This is forcing a use that’s not conducive to this property.”

District staff vacated the building in April and it has since been “mothballed,” meaning the facility’s power has been turned off and the thermostat turned down, according to BC Operations and Maintenance Director Gregg Nolte. The district has spent about $8,000 in basic heating and maintenance since then.

The project is set to appear before the town’s Zoning Board at a future date. Since the property was owned by the school district its use was previously grandfathered in by the town, but a transfer of the property means it would have to meet the zoning code or be granted an exemption. A public hearing will have to be held so residents can voice their concerns to the town about the property receiving a variance.

Any money from the sale counts as revenue for the district, but Kehoe said there is still some debt on the building. That means the money would go into a reserve fund and would be streamed into the budget over several years until the debt is paid off.

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