The Regional School District #17 Board of Education sent out a Request for Proposals on Nov. 1, 2018; the deadline was 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2019. The Board of Education did receive one offer on the morning of Feb. 6. A source from the “Save HES” movement says the offer was from RAK Realty for $450,000 to purchase the school and the front 10 acres. They also put in a proposal for the entire 155 acre property for $650,000. According to the same source, RAK Realty also asked for tax abatement and a reduction in permitting fees.
According to Joanne Nesti, Chairman of the Board of Education, “the RFP is still in the consideration/negotiation process, and therefore, under the Freedom of Information Act, the Board has the right to decide whether to release the document.”
“I am very pleased to receive an offer, to have a firm interested in investing in our village!,” said Peter Sonski, also on the Board of Education, “After initial meetings with three real estate professionals months ago, I was measured in my expectations. The market has been stagnant and there’s plenty of this type of building available. My hope was that the unique charm of Higganum would appeal to a commercial developer much the way it appealed to me as a home buyer a dozen years ago. There’s a lot of review and analysis to be done, and there is no obligation to accept the proposal as is or at all. Some things I’ll want to ask are the extent of the improvements planned, how the character of the building might be preserved and, very importantly, whether local contractors will be welcomed as subs throughout the project. There will be much to discuss with town boards and agencies too, but this is truly a shot of optimism for the community.”
We will be sure to update the public when we have more information.