Deer Park School District considers selling former school used for day care, after-school programs

The district is considering selling Washington Avenue School to a developer for senior housing. Parents and taxpayers in the community say the children will lose what they call a ‘safe haven.’ (3/11/14)

DEER PARK - Concerned parents packed a Deer Park School District meeting Tuesday night over a plan to sell a former school building that currently houses day care and after-school programs.

The district is considering selling Washington Avenue School to a developer for senior housing. Parents and taxpayers in the community say the children will lose what they call a ‘safe haven.’

“This program helps keep them off the street and out of the criminal justice system,” said Catherine Antoine. “It gives them a safe place to come into and to do their homework, to make new friends.”

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If the sale goes through, it would bring in $6.5 million for the district. The school board says it has been considering the sale for the past couple of years because of declining enrollment and budget constraints.

The board assured parents that the plan is not a done deal. Any action the district takes will require the green light from voters through a special referendum.

Deer Park is among several districts looking at selling property or closing schools to save money and generate revenue.

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