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Hooksett School Board to consider land purchase

HOOKSETT — School board members have agreed to discuss the idea of purchasing a large piece of landlocked property adjacent to Cawley Middle School, though a potential sale is far from imminent.

Superintendent Charles Littlefield said school district officials declined an offer to purchase the 26.84-acre parcel in 2007 from John Heaney III and Phyllis Heaney, primarily because the land is mostly wetlands and offers little practical use in terms of building a school or any other type of building on the property.

“At the time, we were not interested,” said Littlefield. “More recently, (the Heaneys) reached out to us again, and I figured since we have a different board, it should be presented to them.”

Though the land — which has a 2013 appraised value of $81,600, according to property records — doesn’t fill an immediate need for the school district, Littlefield said it may have some future value.
“I don’t see any pressing need, but it could do a couple things for us,” he said. “It would put ownership of that whole Cawley site, so to speak, in the hands of the school district, and secondly, if at some point in the future we have a need for expansion at that (Cawley) site, then part of this parcel might support a field, so while we’re not likely to be able to build a concrete structure on it, we may still have some use for it down the road.”



At this point, discussions are strictly in the preliminary phase, said Littlefield.



“We’re not to the point of talking price yet. The property owners asked if we were interested, so we did sit down with them, and we’re meeting with them again in July, but we’re not floating offers or counteroffers or entering any type of negotiations to buy it,” he said. “It’s very early in any process that may result from these discussions.”
Meanwhile, Littlefield said the process continues on the donation of an 89-acre property in the northern corridor of town, from Manchester Sand & Gravel Co. to the school district.

“Really, it is tied in with Manchester Sand & Gravel’s development plan, state approvals, easements and things of that nature,” he said. “That’s really an ongoing process, and I get the sense it will continue for awhile.”

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