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Village to Solicit Bids for Ellis Hall Remediation, Deconstruction

Move will enable an inter-municipal agreement with Nassau County to receive $300,000 under the county's 2006 Environmental Bond Act.

Ellis Hall was completed in 1969 to provide additional classrooms, science labs and a library for St. Paul's School.
Ellis Hall was completed in 1969 to provide additional classrooms, science labs and a library for St. Paul's School.
Trustees unanimously agreed to solicit competitive bids for the remediation and deconstruction of Ellis Hall.

Trustees approved the move at Thursday's board meeting in order to execute an inter-municipal agreement with Nassau County to receive $300,000 under the county's 2006 Environmental Bond Act.

The funds will be earmarked for environmental clean-up, including asbestos removal, inside the building.

The village would have to spend a minimum of $600,000 in order to get the full $300,000 from the county, according to village clerk Brian Ridgway. Bids documents are being drafted.

Garden City resident Maureen Traxler was thrilled the village was finally taking advantage of the grant money.

"As part of a small group who encouraged, supported and actually offered some draft copy for that application back in 2006, I'm so delighted to see that we are trying to tap those resources for this particular item," said Traxler, who was speaking as a private citizen at the Dec. 5 meeting. (She is a member of the Committee to Save St. Paul's - the small group she was referring to.)

"I know from time to time this has come up with the board and we have asked Administrator Schoelle how it was going and if those funds were still available and the answer was always 'yes they are.' Has the village contacted the county - it's been seven years - to make sure that this grant is still going to be honored?" she asked.

"We sure as heck have," Mayor John Watras replied.

Ellis Hall was completed in 1969 to provide additional classrooms, science labs and a library for St. Paul's School, which was first built as a memorial to Garden City's founder Alexander T. Stewart by his wife, Cornelia.

The Main Building, the Victorian Gothic style "E" shaped building on Stewart Avenue, was completed in 1883. Cluett Gym (Hall) was completed in 1899 and once served as the school's theater. The Field House was completed in 1963 as one of the largest on Long Island.

While many agree Ellis Hall should be razed, the village has been unable to come to a consensus as to what to use the Main Building for since purchasing the property back in 1993. The property is currently designated parkland and therefore requires home rule legislation for any kind of public use.

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