Johnstown school board approves sale of long-disused school
JOHNSTOWN The Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education unanimously approved the sale of the former Irving Street School building Wednesday night for $42,500.
The buyer had requested the district keep his name confidential until the approval of the sale. After the vote several members of the board said the buyer is Caroga Lake resident Scott Shibley.
Superintendent Kathy Sullivan said Shibley has expressed interest in possibly developing the old elementary school into residential apartments.
The building has not been used for teaching students in decades, but the district has used it for office and storage space.
As bout ten years ago, the school property was used temporarily to house the district’s fleet of school buses.
School board President Robert Curtis said the district had been holding on to Irving Street in part because it needed a fail-safe location to store its buses if district residents ever chose to vote down renewal of the district’s bus garage lease for the building on Crescendoe Road, which is owned by the Crossroads Incubator Corp. Voters last May approved a new five-year lease agreement for Johnstown to park its buses at the Crescendoe Road building.
Curtis said after the district officially declared the Irving Street School to be an excess building that was no longer needed, it took only about a year to sell.
“We’re excited that we’ve been able to sell it. This was a vacant building that will now be back on the tax rolls. It’s a win-win for the district and the city and certainly for the Irving Street community, if it gets developed into some nice apartments,” he said.
Johnstown’s other vacant school building, the former Jansen Avenue Elementary School, remains up for sale. Sullivan said the district hasn’t received any serious offers to buy Jansen Avenue since a local Catholic parish expressed interest last year.
She said the Holy Trinity Parish hasn’t contacted the district again about buying the building, but she believes it remains a potential buyer.
She said there are ongoing discussions between the Catholic parishes in Johnstown and Gloversville about the establishment of a regional church and Jansen Avenue could be a viable location for it.