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Gouverneur school board considers building use

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GOUVERNEUR — An appraiser has put a rough value of $250,000 on Fowler Elementary School, which the Gouverneur Central School board decided to close earlier this year.The board will decide soon whether to have a real estate agent market the building, Superintendent Lauren F. French said.

“The board is trying to balance the benefit to the local community and the benefit to all the taxpayers,” Mrs. French said. “They have to weigh those two issues if and when an offer is made.”

The board decided to close the school at the end of the 2012-13 school year to save money and help deal with declining enrollments and vacant classrooms in other elementary schools. The school board did not want to start the process of selling the building until the school year was over.

The board has also changed its building use plan, deciding no longer to charge the nominal fee it used to require.

The paperwork required to collect a dollar or two cost far more in administrative costs and documentation for auditors than the fee collected, Mrs. French said.

“We’re not going to be charging a usage fee,” Mrs. French said. “This goes back to the board wanting to make this a center for the community.”

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