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Neshaminy poised to sell closed Oliver Heckman Elementary School


The Neshaminy School Board will consider a major step toward selling the closed Oliver Heckman Elementary School at Tuesday night's meeting.

An agenda item would, if approved, authorize school district officials to take the necessary steps to sell the 8.2-acre property at 201 Cherry St., Langhorne, to Erin Development Co. for $3.2 million. Those steps include entering into an agreement of sale and proceeding to settlement. The sale, as per the applicable Pennsylvania laws on sale of public school properties, would also have to eventually be approved by Bucks County Court.

The property, which includes the school building constructed in 1966, parking lot and some athletic fields, is located mostly in Middletown with a small part in Langhorne Borough. Oliver Heckman closed in June of 2016 at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

While some social media posts have speculated about more houses to supplant the school, it doesn't appear to be clear at this point what will happen to the property if the sale to Erin goes through to settlement. Neshaminy School Board President Tina Hollenbach did not respond to requests for comment. There's an online listing for Erin Development on Oxford Valley Road in Yardley. Phone calls to the listed number did not go through.

Middletown Zoning and Building Director Jim Ennis said no development plan has been filed in township offices for the Heckman site. It was not immediately clear whether any plan was filed in Langhorne Borough. Finding out might require a Right-to-Know request, according to borough Manager Steve Bradshaw.

A request for expressions of interest by purchasers/developers put out by Neshaminy in January opens up a lot of possibilities on what could happen to the site.

"Consistent with the desires of the community, it is the goal that the property may be used and redeveloped to include, but not be limited to, the following: child day care center, adult/disability day care center, professional office, community center, public park, public recreation facility, nursing home, age-qualified residential community, single-family homes, carriage houses, trade or commercial school," the document stated.

"It is the preferred objective of the school district that the overall development for this site takes into consideration the existing open space, recreation areas and adjacent properties," it continued.

It also states some of the other preferred objectives of the school district are that the property be sold "for the highest and best use of the property with the consideration for the residents of the area in which the property is located" and that any sale has the goal "to repurpose the property in order to enhance the community and neighborhood in which it is located."

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