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Purcell looking to buy Watertown schools property

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It turns out Watertown City School District officials won’t develop the former Butterfield Elementary School site for future growth, which was briefly mulled when the building was demolished in 2011.

Purcell Construction submitted a $221,000 bid to the district’s Board of Education this week to buy the 10-acre site off Butterfield Avenue. Owner Mark S. Purcell said Thursday that the pending land purchase, which still needs final approval from the board, strategically was made because the construction company owns land surrounding the parcel.

“We don’t have any immediate plans for it yet,” he said about the site, behind Samaritan Medical Plaza. “It could be developed as some kind of residential land in the future.”

For its part, the district is expected to channel the proceeds from the sale toward the construction of the field house at its high school baseball field.

But the district will fail to recoup what it paid to demolish the building. Asbestos removal and the demolition were completed at a total cost of $269,811 in early 2011 by Empire Dismantlement Corp., Grand Island, according to Times archives. That was a bargain, however, because the project originally was projected to cost $650,000.

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