Riverhead schools prep to sell Aquebogue property

The Riverhead school board voted at its meeting Tuesday to declare district-owned property in Aquebogue as surplus and prepare the land for sale.

The 27-acre parcel on Tuthills Lane was acquired by the school district in 1965 for a potential elementary school site, according to the agenda. But Riverhead’s other elementary schools, with the exception of Roanoke Avenue, “have the potential to accommodate an enrollment increase of 50 percent if the buildings are expanded,” the agenda states.

The board voted 6-0 on the resolution, with board member Tim Griffing absent.

“We are looking at the possibility of selling the development rights along with the real property,” board president Ann Cotten-Degrasse said during the meeting.

After the meeting, she said now that the resolution has been passed, the district can enter talks with Suffolk County about potentially selling development rights to the county.

This is the same property at which the district proposed building a YMCA and bus barn, but the district ran into fierce community opposition and abandoned those plans only a few months later, in March 2009.

In other school board news, Ms. Cotten-Degrasse said she and two other board members are moving to establish a 501(c) nonprofit organization in partnership with community members with the purpose of fundraising for the district. The committee, the Riverhead Blue Waves Education Foundation, would be responsible for raising money for school supplies or whatever else the school district needed.

The control of the foundation would be turned over to the community members, Ms. Cotten-Degrasse said.

“If you know anyone who has expertise legal, accounting or fundraising, please contact me,” she said during the meeting.

Ms. Cotten-Degrasse can be reached via email at [email protected].

[email protected]

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