Tonawanda News

June 19, 2013

Central School sale is nixed

By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The proposed buyer of Central School, David Capretto, has notified the Tonawanda School District that he will not be finalizing the purchase of the building located at 80 Clinton St. 

Superintendent James Newton announced the news at Tuesday night’s board meeting. In late April, Capretto proposed purchasing the building for $220,000, and last month, the public approved the sale of the school in a 722-311 vote. Capretto, of Forbes Capretto Homes, planned to turn the school into an apartment building. 

“He was hoping to obtain historical credits that would have helped with the cost of the project,” Director of Business and Financial Services Stephen Perry said. “But state inspectors said too many changes had been made to the building, and they denied the assistance.”

School officials have notified the realtor that any future offers must include provisions for a non-refundable deposit to cover the costs of the public referendum, which is required for any sale. 

When asked if the district was expecting another offer, Perry said “we are expecting something.” 

David Kenyon, a landscape architect at Wendel, also attended Tuesday’s meeting to responded to residents’ concerns about the construction work being done on the new high school athletic stadium.

At the board’s last meeting, Beverly Ranney and Dan Maxwell, both of Adam Street, said their basements had flooded due to grading that had been done at the site of the new football field. Ranney also complained about a pond of water that had collected at the site she said was attracting insects and rodents. 

Kenyon said Tuesday that the site’s plans for storm water runoff meet the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s stringent standards. 

Per those rules, after construction, the runoff must be less or equal to what it was before the construction. Kenyon said the construction plans dictate that storm water will be collected on site and away from adjacent properties. 

“We are not impacting the city’s infrastructure and we were able to demonstrate that to the DEC,” he said. “Being a good neighbor means you don’t just put on other people’s property.”

Kenyon also said that the site’s detention pond, which residents took issue with, is only temporary and will be removed by the end of construction. 

He also addressed Ranney’s concern about a bus loop that will be built directly behind her home. At the board’s last meeting, Ranney expressed her worry that the buses and fumes would make her backyard unpleasant. 

Kenyon said the contractor on the job will plant 23 spruce trees behind the properties that will serve as a noise buffer and provide privacy. 

Gloria Ciminelli, of Pike Co., also provided an update on the construction of the football stadium. The turf has been installed and will be complete by Thursday, ahead of schedule, she said. 

The foundations for the concessions stand and the restrooms have also been laid, and work on foundations for the bleachers has begun. 

“We have also made the first step in constructing the track by installing the asphalt,” Ciminelli said. 

Summer work will begin June 24th, and will include work on Riverview’s roof as well as construction inside the middle and high school complex. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter at @JessicaLBagley