SARANAC LAKE - The Saranac Lake Central School District Board of Education learned March 4 superintendent Gerald Goldman wants to lease the Lake Clear Elementary School.
After the school closed, the district made a decision not to sell the building, opting instead to retain the property - and Goldman says it's time to field ideas for utilizing the empty school.
"Instead of filling it up with moth balls, let's find out what the interests might be for using the building," Goldman said. "I want to meet with a broker. I'd like to get the ball rolling as soon as possible."
Last fall, the board voted to close the school after this academic year to save money for the district. Goldman said he would like to see the building filled by the start of school next fall. The building will be empty by late July or early August.
"It seems to me that someone might be interested," he added.
Certain stipulations would have to be put in place, Goldman explained. For example, area children would still be allowed to use the school grounds and play park for leisure activities.
"That would have to be a condition," Goldman said. "We retain use of the grounds."
District business executive Michael Kilroy said he and Goldman are willing to listen to a wide range of ideas and proposals for how to use the school. Kilroy said the space could be used for a daycare center or for office space, for example.
"We'd like to know what the interest is," Kilroy said. "I'm sure the school district is not looking to make a lot of money - we're looking to have someone in the building during the day where we don't have to worry about whether the heat is on or if there's a leak some place."
Kilroy expects to contact real estate agents in the Village of Saranac Lake - or at least within the district - and ask if they are interested in working with the school. Not all real estate agents deal with leasing and renting, he added. The district would need one lead broker who would handle the transaction, but the building would still be filed under a multiple listing service.
"Everybody gets a chance to lease it or rent it or sell it," Kilroy said. "We're not interested in selling it at all right now. It's just a matter of leasing it or renting it to some degree. Everybody would have a chance at it but you would need one lead broker who would handle the transaction."
The board will revisit the matter of leasing the Lake Clear Elementary School at its next meeting Wednesday, March 18 at the Petrova Library.