New Covenant purchase, Livingston sale at a glance
New Covenant purchase
The district is proposing to buy the
former New Covenant Charter School building at 50 Lark Drive for
$2.5 million at no cost to
would do this without any tax impact because it also is selling
the former Livingston Magnet Academy (Livingston) for $2.5
million and the former Schuyler Elementary School/Albany High
School (Schuyler) for $2 million.
The New Covenant purchase would
be contingent on
selling at least one of those old buildings.
In the long term, New Covenant
would provide major savings to our taxpayers in terms of
building maintenance and upkeep, and it also would provide a
high-quality learning environment that our students need and
Purchasing New Covenant is
an opportunity for the school district to
repurpose a vacant
12-year-old school building for pennies on the dollar – and at
no cost to taxpayers – while selling buildings that are 80-100 years
old and in need of major repairs.
The $2.5 million purchase price
for New Covenant is well below the asking price of $4.5 million.
Building a new facility like New
Covenant would cost about $24 million today.
Between 75 percent and 82
percent of the district’s lease payments would apply to the
purchase if the district buys the building at some point in
The costs to the district and
our community of continuing to maintain Schuyler and Livingston
would be substantial – tens of millions of dollars that our
community cannot afford.
The distict will begin leasing New
Covenant in January and will
relocate the Alternative Learning Center programs there at that
The district is allowed to lease
a building for up to a year; we need public approval to purchase
We are negotiating to sell
Schuyler to the University at Albany.New Covenant would provide
students in our alternative-education programs the high-quality
learning environment they need and deserve.
The modern building and
additional space would allow the district to continue its focus
on building stronger alternative programs that meet our
students’ needs and contribute to our mission to raise
achievement for all students.
The additional space and modern
facilities also provide the district flexibility to plan for
future enrollment trends, especially with another charter school
closing at the end of this school year.
Our students would be able to
use all of the facilities in the attached Arbor Hill Community
Center, including the swimming pool and gym.
The district and the city
would share the costs of maintaining and operating those
shared facilities inside the community center.
The city still would be
responsible for all other building maintenance on the
The community center will
continue to operate as it has.
New Covenant has been boarded up for more than two years since the
charter school failed. By purchasing the building, the district
would breathe new life into
a vacant school building in the heart of Arbor Hill and
repurpose an important community facility.
For sale since
2010, Livingston is in need of significant investment soon to
prevent it from falling into serious disrepair. It would be
a significant financial
burden to the district and our community to have to spend
hundreds of thousands of dollars – or even millions if the building
remains unsold indefinitely – to maintain an empty building.
The district is asking for approval
to reduce the minimum sale
price to $2.5 million.
oters in May 2010 approved a
minimum price of $4.5 million for Livingston, and in May 2011
allowed the district to reduce that to the current minimum of
Based on our efforts to sell the
building at those price points for more than two years, we
conditions require subdividing the property to retain
Livingston’s four-acre “front lawn” and lowering the price on
the building and remaining property to $2.5 million.
We are in negotiations with a
potential buyer and believe this new price will allow us to sell
The district would keep the four
acres in front of Livingston along Northern Boulevard.The
buyer would rehabilitate the building
as a senior assisted-living facility.
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