The Hudson City School District Board of Trustees plans to vote on the fate of the old college building Thursday at a special meeting.
The plan was to be approved at Thursday night’s regular meeting, but the board decided after more than two hours of discussion that more time was needed to review the proposals, said board member James Field.
If a decision is not made in time by the end of the month, the proposed construction price could increase and the demolition could be postponed until next year.
The council is evaluating two proposals for the site – a private redevelopment or the foundation-assisted creation of an outdoor learning space. The council also coordinated with the city to define the next steps.
Developer seeks to create townhouses
Liberty Development could buy the property for $250,000. The proposal would demolish three-quarters of the 1927 building and build 13 townhouses and condominiums behind the remaining facade.
Hudson Heritage Association co-chairman Diccon Ong said the worst possible outcome would be for a for-profit developer to be in charge of the property.
Hudson resident Philip Leiter lives next to the 1927 building and said historic buildings like the college are the heart of Hudson.
“Education [Hudson children] that abandoning our historic buildings just because we are not imaginative enough to make them useful is not the way we do things at Hudson,” he said.
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Outdoor Learning Space Foundation Locations
The Quagliata Foundation has donated $710,000 to create an outdoor learning space for the school district to use.
The Hudson Heritage Association submitted a proposal compatible with Quagliata’s proposal that would include the purchase of the 1893 Saywell House on the property so that it could be restored and reused as a private residence as a landmark.
“The Quagliata Foundation proposal and the HHA proposal together offer the district just over $1 million in 2022, which does not preclude either risk or controversy,” said HHA member Dan Wright, at the Thursday evening meeting.
The city is looking to play a part in the future of real estate
Board member Steve DiMauro said City Council Speaker Chris Foster had set up a meeting with the board to discuss plans for the building with Hudson officials for Mutual Endeavors. The committee is made up of two members of council, two members of the board of directors, the city manager, the mayor and the superintendent. It also includes representatives from the park district, the public library, and the mayor of Boston Heights. It has been about five years since HOME last met.
The committee met with members of the school board at a workshop on Tuesday evening. DiMauro said working with the city rather than an outside developer would reduce school district expenses, which would generate more revenue for students.
“This meeting was called specifically to see if there were ways for the city and the school to work together to find a solution to the 1927 building that would be satisfactory to the school district and the community,” the superintendent said. Steven Farnsworth.
While there has been discussion of partnering with schools on leasing the property as a “possibility,” there are no plans in the works at this time, said Jody Roberts, communications manager for the city.
“At this point we’re, we’re probably at what I would consider two choices; development through Liberty, and the other is sort of a combination of the Quagliata family proposal, HHA, and maybe even some consideration from the city,” DiMauro said.
Ong said combining the Quagliata and HHA proposals was the best possible outcome because it would preserve space, maintain revenue and benefit students.
“I just don’t see how anything offered by [Liberty Development] would approach the benefits that would restore a sense of good faith and good feelings within the community,” Ong said.
DiMauro said he was confident the board would come to a decision on Thursday.
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