The former Coles Elementary School is empty, but the space represents a variety of possibilities for the city, according to Mayor Ralph Suozzi.
For the last decade the school had been leased to the private Solomon Schecter Jewish Day School before that institution left one year ago to be closer to its student.
that the city would retain ownership of the property, which closed as a public school in 1992, in the interest of keeping it a public asset.
Here are some of the possibilities the city is looking at:
- Senior center
- Youth center (including Catholic Youth Organization program center)
- Police auxiliary center
- Veteran housing facility
- Space for businesses that can’t afford to open downtown
- Space for businesses that don’t mesh with
the downtown scene (ex. A software company)
None of these options are mutually exclusive, Suozzi said. The idea is to use the property as a multi-purpose space.
The last occupant added to the building's assets, leaving behind a new gymnasium, wiring for internet and a new boiler. There is also green space being preserved behind the building.
For now, the city is focused on getting the property in line with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.
Possible solutions will continue to be discussed, according to Suozzi.
“All ideas are welcome,” he said.