Lawrence School District finalized an agreement to sell the Number Six School to the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach pending a public referendum.
The Lawrence School District and the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB) have finalized contract negotiations concerning the sale of the Number Six School in Woodmere.
Pending a public referendum that is scheduled for March 31, HALB will purchase the 6.67-ace site on Church Avenue that includes a 80,170-square-foot school building for $8.5 million in cash and another $2.7 million that will be held by the district as a guarantee that Lawrence will realize more than $565,000 in annual savings on what the district now spends on transportation and special education for HALB students.
HALB plans to shift 800 elementary school students from Long Beach to the Number Six School after it receives approval from the Town of Hempstead to renovate the building and the work is complete. HALB Board President Lance Hirt said should the referendum be approved he anticipates opening the new school in two years.
“This purchase agreement is a win-win for the Woodmere-Five Towns community and for our students,” Hirt said. More than 90 percent of HALB’s incoming students live in the Woodmere area. In addition, HALB also runs Davis Renov Stahler High School for Boys in Woodmere, Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Hewlett and an early childhood center, also in Hewlett.
Hirt said renovations to the building are needed to make better use of the classroom space and public areas, install a new roof and windows to improve energy efficiency, put in a state-of-the-art heating and air conditioning system, along with new electrical and plumbing systems that comply with current building codes.
Before that can be done, HALB has to deal with community members who last year led a campaign that overwhelmingly defeated a referendum to sell the property to Bronx-based Simone Development Companies. Simone was planning to lease the site to Mt. Sinai Hospital for a specialty medical center.