District reopens bidding  for ex-Otego elementary

File The former Otego Elementary School on Main Street is seen in June 2018.

The Unatego Central School District Board of Education announced Tuesday it is accepting proposals for the development of the former Otego Elementary School after its previous agreement fell through last month.

“We’re looking for somebody that’s going to maintain this historic building and keep the structure intact,” said David Richards, district superintendent.

The board is seeking proposals that will be “beneficial to the village and a good fit with the needs of the residents and school district,” Richards said, and will consider submissions.

“We’re looking to cast a wide net,” Richards said. “And we don’t know what’s out there until we cast that net.” 

The board voted last year to sell the former school to AgZeit, an Endicott-based startup specializing in vertical indoor farming, but revoked its offer last month after the company failed to submit a down payment on the property, according to Richards.

Richards said the board checked in with two of the other potential developers that previously contended for the property, the Kildonan School for children with language-based learning disabilities in Dutchess County, and Two Plus Four, a Syracuse-based developer of senior housing, but neither was a viable option.

“Kildonan closed its doors, and Two Plus Four is no longer interested,” he said.

To hold future developers accountable, Richards said the board revised its request for proposals to include additional deadlines for receiving the down payment and setting a closing date.

“We’re just trying to do a good job as custodians of the taxpayers’ assets and exercise fiduciary responsibility,” Richards said.

The request for proposals is available at unatego.org. Interested parties may contact the district office at 607-988-5038 or by mail at P.O. Box 483, State Highway 7, Otego, N.Y., 13825.

Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at seames@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.

Recommended for you