Waterford hires broker to sell Cohanzie School

Waterford - The town has hired a real estate broker to market for sale the 90-year-old Cohanzie School, which has long been viewed as a site for potential redevelopment.

The Board of Selectmen last week approved an agreement to give James A. Neckermann from the Commercial Real Estate Group of Berlin the exclusive right to sell the former school property on Dayton Road.

The property for sale includes the approximately 40,777-square-foot former school building and the approximately 11.35 acres it sits on. As of Tuesday afternoon, a for sale sign had not been posted on the property.

Last April, the Representative Town Meeting approved the appropriation of $463,100 for the cleanup and demolition of the school, which has been eyed as a site for redevelopment for a number of years despite objections from some who attended the former elementary school.

Cohanzie School was left vacant in 2008 as part of a building project approved at a 2002 referendum that consolidated the town's five elementary schools into three because of declining enrollment and increased operational costs.

Some residents have pushed back against the town's plans, including the "Save Cohanzie School" effort started last year to save the school from the wrecking ball.

"We understand why people are sensitive about the building and the past history of the site and its sentimental value; it is a community asset," Town Planner Dennis G. Goderre has said. "Any type of development would have to reflect that."

The town's vision of the parcel is to be a "neighborhood scale, residential village, with outdoor passive amenities open to the public," according to bid documents.

c.young@theday.com

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