SASD exploratory committee seeks support from Litchfield supervisors

Grant funding may be sought to either renovate the Litchfield Elementary building, or demolish it and build a new structure in its place.

LITCHFIELD – Joe Quattrini of the Bradford County Conservation District attended Monday’s Litchfield Township meeting, seeking support from the supervisors on behalf of Sayre Area School District’s exploratory committee.

According to Sayre Superintendent Dr. Jill Daloisio, the exploratory committee was put together by the Sayre school board in July to find potential uses for the Litchfield Elementary property, “whether it be for the community, the school district, or a combined effort.”

Quattrini told the board that as of right now “the school district is still in favor of keeping the property and the building in their possession,” but he said that the district hopes to convert the structure into a community center.

Depending on how structurally sound the current building is, such a conversion could either entail gutting and renovating the school building or demolishing and rebuilding something new.

Quattrini noted that the exploratory committee is still in early stages of finding the best path for the project, but he indicated that grant funding would be sought to pay for the majority of the renovation or rebuild.

He also expressed the hope that Litchfield’s supervisors would show support for the endeavor, whether it be financial assistance, help maintaining the property, or simply writing letters of support for grant applications.

“Right now there’s really nothing specific that’s being requested of you,” Quattrini told the supervisors, “but if there’s anybody that would be interested in sitting in on that committee from the township, that would be welcomed.”

Litchfield tax collector Joy Drake noted that township residents shouldn’t be responsible for helping the school district financially for the project, but Quattrini responded by saying that it wouldn’t necessarily have to come from taxpayer money.

“They could sponsor grants themselves to help with that endeavor,” said Quattrini. “Like I said, it’s not a Sayre School District event center, it’s a community center.”

When asked what she envisions with the words “community center,” Dr. Daloisio said she would like to see “a combined effort of the community” determine its purpose and application.

“I can see, like in the future, what the possibilities are for the student body and/or the community in general,” Daloisio said, “(but) I don’t necessarily have a vision just for Jill Daloisio on what that should be. It’s about a community vision and what the whole team wants it to be.”

On the ownership of the property, Daloisio said the district is “still open to having the discussion of what could be.”

“I know that we had dialogued early on about selling a portion of it, and I’m not sure that I would say that’s off the table,” said Daloisio.

According to Daloisio, a report from the exploratory committee should be presented to the school board during the meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Quattrini said that the exploratory meetings are somewhat regular, typically every month at the Satterlee Creek Environmental Center, but anyone interested in joining can contact Superintendent Daloisio at 570-888-6622.

“I’m excited about the possibilities of what could be,” said Daloisio, “with that building, and/or the land.”

Erik Berggren can be reached at eberggren@morning-times.com or (570) 888-9643 ext. 231.

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