Proposition: Philip Sheridan Building Sale
During the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda UFSD Budget Vote and Board of Education Election on Tuesday, May 15, school district voters will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed sale of the Philip Sheridan Building, located at 3200 Elmwood Ave. This referendum must be approved by voters for the district to sell the Philip Sheridan Building.
The Village of Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda experienced significant growth in the years following World War II. Student enrollment increased from approximately 7,000 students in the mid-1950s to its peak of 22,500 students in the late-1960s. New school buildings had to be built at rapid pace during this time to keep up with increasing enrollment. This included the Philip Sheridan Building.
The number of births in the town reached its peak in 1955 and decreased each year after that. Eventually, student enrollment began to decrease gradually year by year as the average age of the school district population increased. This created more and more underutilized space in the district’s expansive list of schools. Most of the schools that opened in the 1950s and 1960s had to be closed in the 1970s and early 1980s. By 1983, a total of 16 school buildings had been closed, including the Philip Sheridan Building. Many of these buildings have since been sold. A total of 13 buildings have been transitioned from district ownership as recently as 2012 with the sale of the former Green Acres Elementary School.
Today, the Philip Sheridan Building is one of six closed school buildings currently maintained by the district. Since it closed in 1982, it has been used for a variety of purposes. Since the implementation of the 2014 Consolidation Plan, most of the programs and operations housed at the Philip Sheridan Building have already moved to the former Kenmore Middle School building with the rest scheduled to follow in the spring.
The building has been identified as a prime candidate for selling because of the good condition of the building and its low debt load. The sale of the building would save the district the annual expense of maintaining the building, which is only partially offset by rental revenue, while also bringing in one-time revenue from the proceeds of the sale.
The district recently accepted proposals for the property which were subject to review by the district's Facilities Transition Committee, a stakeholder committee comprised of district parent, community, teacher, staff and administrator representatives. The highest bid was from CMS Rentals LLC for $1,049,017. The Facilities Transition Committee unanimously supported the bid which was approved by the Board of Education on March 13.
- CMS Rentals LLC
Plans for Building:
- Maintain relationship with the current two tenants (Buffalo Turner Gymnastics and Blue Giraffe Day Care)
- Design and start the conversion of existing available current rooms into approximately 800-square-foot senior apartments (conversion to begin on the second floor and built out to meet all current codes)
- Address and update HVAC
- Solicit use of the existing auditorium to provide an entertainment venue for both the new residents and the public
- Add additional senior-related services and offerings in the first-floor common areas, such as possible restaurant, ATM, etc.
- Design and install proper security systems to provide a safe and secure living experience for new senior residents
- Schenne & Associates - Past projects include:
- The Houk Lofts, 316 Grote St., Buffalo (conversion of industrial building into 22 one- and two-bedroom apartments and commercial space)
- Ellicott Commons, 489 Ellicott St., Buffalo (conversion of building into 30 one- and two-bedroom apartments, the Seabar, market, hair salon, fitness facility, and office space)
- Hotel Lafayette, 391 Washington St., Buffalo (conversion of vacant hotel into 92 one- and two-bedroom apartments, 57 hotel rooms, several bars, restaurants and banquet facilities)
- Piece Arroe Business Park, 155 Chandler St., Buffalo (conversion of industrial building into class A office space and loft-style apartments)
- ARCO Lofts, 1807 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo (conversion of industrial building into 38 one- and two-bedroom apartments and commercial space)
- Resetarits Construction - Past prokects include:
- Nelson Hopkins Apartments (24-unit residential special needs apartment complex)
- Former Packard Automobile Assembly Plant building in Buffalo (40 residential units)
- Town Homes at Shawnee Landing, Wheatfield (64 town houses)
- Lake Avenue Apartments, Lancaster (24 luxury townhomes)
- Seneca Paper Building (30 high-end residential loft apartments)
- Buffalo Clinical Research Center, Buffalo
- Buffalo Zoo - South American Tropical Rainforest Exhibit Hall
- Roycroft Power House, East Aurora
- Niagara Falls Historic Customhouse
- Tom Horton's Cafe & Bake Shops (Seneca Street & Bailey Avenue in Buffalo; Route 31 in Wheatfield)
- Batavia VA Medical Center, Batavia
- Roswell Park Cancer Institute (various projects)
- Buffalo Harley Davidson Sales Office