Borough business wants former school

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ICES, a Naugatuck-based company, has offered to buy the former Prospect Street School in Naugatuck for $800,000. –RA ARCHIVE
ICES, a Naugatuck-based company, has offered to buy the former Prospect Street School in Naugatuck for $800,000. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — The Board of Mayor and Burgesses is considering the sale of the now-abandoned Prospect Street School to ICES, a borough-based company that provides support services for autistic people and others with mental disorders.

The company is looking to expand, and has offered to buy the 41,000-square-foot building at 100 Prospect St. for $800,000, according to a draft contract presented Tuesday to the borough board.

“At this point we feel this is the best offer that we could receive, most consistent with the kind of use that was formerly there as well as a property that will go to the tax rolls and generate tax revenue for us,” Mayor Robert Mezzo said.

The borough board voted to refer the proposal to the Planning Commission. Mezzo said he will not ask the borough board for authorization to sign the contract until the land use commission has reviewed it.

The transaction is also subject to an environmental assessment of the property.

The land and building together are appraised at about $2.2 million, according to the assessor’s database.

The borough has fielded numerous inquiries since the property went on the market earlier this year, Mezzo said. Many potential bidders also attended showings and open houses, he said. The property’s original asking price was $900,000.

The Naugatuck Economic Development Corp. contracted real estate agent Tom Hill III to handle the sale.

The sale also means the borough would not have to spend most of the $86,000 allocated in this year’s budget to maintain the building.

The Prospect Street School served as an elementary school for almost 60 years before it became a preschool three years ago. As part of a cost-saving plan, the school closed entirely last year and the preschoolers were moved to Central Avenue Elementary School. The school board transferred ownership of the building last year to the borough.

ICES is at 35 Elm St., and Mezzo said he believes ICES will keep the property if it buys the former school.

It has existed for more than 15 years and provides classes to people between the ages of 6 weeks and 18 years, said borough attorney Edward Fitzpatrick.

The for-profit company offers residential, vocational, clinical and other services.