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York Middle School: October16, 2008

The Board of Education for the York School District and Retzler Development Group LLC in Grand Island have come to a purchase agreement regarding the former middle school.
Superintendent Terry Kenealy said the purchase price is $300,000.
The middle school has been marketed by United Country Real Estate since the new facility was constructed.
The current purchase agreement is an amendment of an earlier agreement. The original had a closing date of mid-January, 2009; however, the Duke wrestlers use the middle school gym for practice. That closing date would have come before the wrestling season was completed. The new purchase agreement pushes the closing date to March 2, 2009, to eliminate that problem. Superintendent Kenealy said that if a solution comes for the wrestling practice area, the closing date could be much earlier than March. There’s also a possibility that an agreement may be reached in which the closing takes place earlier and the wrestlers are allowed to continue their practices there per the new owner’s permission.
Kenealy said the purchase includes the middle school, gym, surrounding sheds and most of the contents, with the exception of a few items the district has in storage. The sales contract does not include the property north of the middle school, across the street, which has been proposed for a new softball complex.
Paul Warshauer, CEO for the Retzler Group, says he’s excited about the future of that particular property.
“Everything is still in the planning stages,” Warshauer said. “We’d like to see some apartments, and we would like to maintain the historical theater — for it to become a multi-use arts facility. We still have to talk to the city and the county, and we will have several meetings with members of the public as to what they would like to see there. It’s rare for a developer to ask for public input — but we like to do things in open forum. This school belongs to the community — what a developer decides to do with it is the American way. But so many people went through that school. To look at how to preserve the historical building and the developer make a buck — that’s the making of a happy marriage.”

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