Former school on the market

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The former Prospect Street School in Naugatuck is up for sale. -RA ARCHIVE
The former Prospect Street School in Naugatuck is up for sale. -RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — The building at 100 Prospect St. was a second home to children for nearly six decades while it served as the Prospect Street School.

Now the borough is selling it for a negotiable asking price of $900,000 to anyone who wants to turn it into a residential or light office facility.

“I think it’s always emotional,” Mayor Robert Mezzo said. “Unfortunately, there’s a time to look toward the future, and based on its geometry and capacity it’s not part of our long-term plan for our school district.”

The two-story brick building, about 41,000 square feet sitting on 1.1 acres, was constructed in 1955 and served as an elementary school until a 2010 reconfiguration turned it into a preschool. The preschool programs moved last year to the former Central Avenue Elementary School, leaving the Prospect Street building vacant.

The school was closed based on recommendations from a committee that analyzed the future of borough schools. The closure was approved by the Board of Education, which turned the building over to the borough. The Naugatuck Economic Development Corp. has contracted with real estate agent Tom Hill III to sell the property.

The building could be used for apartments, research and development, assisted living or an office facility. The borough would benefit most from something that generates tax revenue and is appropriate to the neighborhood, such as offices or a for-profit educational facility, Mezzo said.

The former school has been on the market for about two months and showings have been held, Mezzo said.

“There’s some interest,” Mezzo said. “We haven’t got to the level we’re ready to contract.”

Proceeds from the sale will help pay down the debt for various school repair projects, Mezzo said.

The building is not being considered for municipal use. The borough’s biggest need is to consolidate public works facilities, which are currently scattered along Rubber Avenue, but the school is located in a high-traffic area along Route 68 that would not be suitable for a garage, Mezzo said.

The budget for the fiscal year beginning in July appropriates nearly $86,000 to maintain the building.

Copper wiring was stolen in January from an electrical room accessed from outside the building. Power was quickly restored and no one has been charged in the theft.