News conference planned on Shenendehowa land sale

A sign on Moe Rd. near the Shenendehowa campus for the special land vote on April 4, 2017.

MARC SCHULTZ/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHERA sign on Moe Rd. near the Shenendehowa campus for the special land vote on April 4, 2017. MARC SCHULTZ/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

By Kassie Parisi

Gazette Reporter

CLIFTON PARK — The Shenendehowa Central School District will host a press conference Tuesday about the sale of 32 acres of district land to the Town of Clifton Park.

The event will begin at 12:30 p.m. near the entrance of the parcel in question, off Maxwell Road across from the Staples store. Representatives from both the district and the town will be in attendance.

The purpose of the press conference is “to discuss the progress made by the ‘Land Sale Working Group’ and the resulting offer by the town of Clifton Park for the purchase of the district-owned land adjacent to Shatekon and Arongen elementary schools,” the district said in a prepared statement.

The announcement comes after months of back-and-forth negotiations between the school district and the town over a possible sale of the land, which has been a topic of controversy since before an April referendum that saw town residents overwhelmingly reject the district’s proposal to sell the plot to BBL Construction for about $2 million.

After outcry over the school board’s perceived lack of transparency in dealing with BBL, the board launched negotiations to sell the land to the town, with the intent of being more open with residents during the process. But both the school board and the town have defended their use of closed-door meetings during negotiations, noting that such discussions could be difficult in a public forum.