District Property Sale / Lease Information
September 28, 2023 - Superintendent and Board of Education Update
Dear Northport-East Northport community,
The Board of Education and administration have taken some time to reflect on last Thursday’s Board meeting and wanted to address a few essential concerns.
We want to emphasize that no district building/property may be sold without the public’s approval via a referendum and our objective for the meeting was to receive input from the community. We regret that there was confusion regarding the intent of the meeting.
We also want to apologize that the meeting venue was less than adequate. Corrective actions are being taken, and we look forward to providing all community members with the opportunity to share their feedback in a respectful and safe environment.
The Board, in carrying out its fiscal responsibilities, engaged the expertise of a realtor to better understand the current market for these properties and see what opportunities were available to us. Our next step is to share this information with our community and hear your thoughts and ideas about how to best use these properties moving forward.
We want to clarify that there was not going to be a vote to enter into any contract during the meeting, nor have any decisions regarding IF any, or HOW many of the available buildings will be sold/leased. Once again, no district building/property may be sold without the public’s approval via a voter referendum.
The next Board of Education Meeting is Thursday, October 5 at 7:00 pm at Northport High School. We want to hear our community’s ideas and thoughts about the future use of our available buildings. Members of the school community will have the opportunity to do so during the public comment portion of the meeting.
The meeting will include a presentation of the information provided by Newmark and the Board will have the opportunity to ask clarifying questions and to deliberate. The recap and deliberation will be at the beginning of the agenda and as brief as possible so we may quickly proceed into the Public Comment.
We want to emphasize that the Board will NOT make any decisions about the sale or lease of the buildings at this meeting. We will be listening to the feedback of our community. This process is fluid and will include ongoing discussions and additional opportunities for the community to have their voices heard at future meetings.
In closing, we are looking forward to hearing from you and we apologize for the confusion at the September 21st meeting.
Thank you for your attention to this message.
Robert L. Banzer, Superintendent
Larry Licopoli, PhD., Board President
Victoria Buscareno, Board Vice President
David Badanes, Trustee
Tom Loughran, Trustee
Donna McNaughton, Trustee
Allison Noonan, Trustee
Carol Taylor, Trustee
The district is currently in the process of marketing its three available properties - 158 Laurel Ave. (William J. Brosnan Building), 253 Bellerose Avenue and 120 Dickinson Avenue for sale and/or lease.
Information regarding the offers can be found HERE (initial offers) and HERE (revised offers). Offers for each property are presented as ranges to preserve the negotiation process and maintain the bargaining position of the district.
Any member of the community who wishes to ask questions or share their feedback regarding the sale/lease of the buildings but cannot attend Board meetings may submit their questions/feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails will be reviewed by the Board and administration. Emails with similar themes will be addressed collectively.
District Property Sale/Lease FAQ
What properties is the district currently looking to lease and/or sell?
The district currently has three buildings that are being considered for lease or sale – Bellerose Avenue, Dickinson Avenue and William J. Brosnan.
Currently, the Brosnan building is used for district administration offices, houses the district’s alternative high school program, PORT Academy, and has several classrooms leased to pre-k provider, Island Kids. At the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, Island Kids expanded their program significantly and began leasing additional classrooms at the Brosnan building. This required the district to relocate the transportation and community services departments to Dickinson Avenue, where they are currently housed. Bellerose Avenue is currently vacant.
While all three buildings are available, it is up to the Board's discretion to determine the number of buildings to ultimately lease or put up for referendum to sell.
*The sale of any building is dependent on a public voter referendum.
Who is the district’s real estate broker?
During the November 17, 2022 Board of Education meeting, the Board appointed Newmark Realty as the district’s real estate agency of record. Newmark is responsible for assessing the properties current use, marketing them and ultimately coordinating the sale and/or lease of one or more of the properties.
How can the community continue to receive updates regarding the status of the lease/sale of the buildings?
Information will continue to be updated on the district website, as well as discussed during Board meetings.
When pertinent, the district may also include information in district newsletters or send emails to parents and residents. As a reminder, residents without currently enrolled children can sign up for our Community Notification System to receive relevant emails.
Who decides to sell a district building?
It is ultimately up to the community to vote (via a public referendum) whether or not to sell a building. While the Board will determine which offers to bring forward to the community by resolution, the community’s vote on the resolution is the final deciding factor.
Why are we planning to sell/lease these buildings?
In June 2019, the Northport-East Northport Board of Education implemented a comprehensive planning process to identify possible options to provide a “roadmap” for future decisions about the District’s PreK-12 instructional program, called “Future Study.” This planning process included commissioning The SES Study Team, LLC to prepare a study to help the Board, leadership team, and community analyze possible options to organize and deliver the Northport-East Northport program in the future.
While there are a wide variety of factors that influenced the decision to propose reorganizing the school district, two of the most impactful include declining enrollment and the LIPA tax certiorari settlement agreement. Enrollment in the district has declined by approximately 1,600 students (25%) over the past 10 years, leaving many of our buildings with increasing inefficiencies.
Ultimately this study culminated in a district reorganization that closed Dickinson Avenue Elementary and Bellerose Avenue Elementary. The district also reorganized to have elementary schools house grades K-4 and middle schools to house grades 5-8.
More information regarding the entire school reorganization process can be found here.