Residents in the Lawrence School District voted 1,856 to 461 on Monday to approve the sale of the Number Six School to the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB).
HALB is buying a 6.67-acre site, which includes the 80,170-square-foot school building for $8.5 million, along with $2.7 million that will be held as a guarantee that Lawrence would realize more than $565,000 in annual savings on what the district now spends on transportation and special education for HALB students.
It is anticipated that HALB will move its Long Beach-based elementary school – kindergarten through eighth grade – to the school on Church Avenue in Woodmere in two years, officials previously said. Their West Broadway building in Long Beach is expected to be sold.
More than 90 percent of HALB’s 800-student elementary school enrollment lives in the Five Towns. Davis Renov Stahler High School for Boys also in Woodmere, Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Hewlett and the Lev Chana Early Childhood Center on the SKA campus are also HALB schools.
The Number Six School sale is conditional on HALB getting approvals from the Town of Hempstead regarding the planned renovations, according to Lance Hirt, president of HALB’S board. “It is technically a change of use,” he said. Plans include remediation of a building closed for years and damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, new electrical wiring, plumbing, windows, roof and the creation of classroom space. The cost is expected to be close $9 million.
“HALB buying the property will be a wonderful addition to our community,” said Dr. Alex Sternberg, a Woodmere resident, who opposed last year’s proposed sale to Simone Health Development. They will be good neighbors. The leadership of HALB is good people. I know them. My son is a student there.”
Last year the proposed sale of the school on Church Avenue in Woodmere to Simone Healthcare Development for a medical specialty center was defeated by a nearly two to one margin. It is the third school sold by the district. In 1980, the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway purchased the Number Three School for $1.1 million, which is now HAFTR High School. The Number One School was bought by developer David Neuberg in 2007 for 29.1 million. The upscale condominium complex generated an additional $2 million for the district based on the number of apartments constructed.