GJSD board postpones firm hiring

The Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education votes to postpone hiring a school building real estate broker Thursday night at Johnstown High School. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education on Thursday postponed to a “later date” the hiring of a firm that can provide the district with brokerage services involving Glebe Street Elementary School.

The board voted Dec. 5 to close the 502 Glebe St. school on June 30.

Board members Thursday night at Johnstown High School went into a closed-door, executive session to discuss “matters that may lead to the appointment of a particular corporation.”

Later in the “workshop” session, the board had an action item on its agenda involving Glebe Street Elementary School. The proposed resolution was to retain Cushman & Wakefield/Pyramid Brokerage Co. of Latham to perform a market appraisal and devise a marketing program for the school’s premises Hiring the firm was recommended by the board’s Facilities Committee, in conjunction with Interim Superintendent Karen Geelan.

But when the proposed resolution came up, board Vice President Kathryn Zajicek made a motion — subsequently changed from “table” to “postpone” — the hiring of a brokerage firm for Glebe.

“I think we should be getting some additional information,” she said.

The resolution passed up Thursday night indicated district officials wish to review “options” available related to the school’s real property. The amount of compensation Cushman & Wakefield/Pyramid Brokerage Co. was due to receive wasn’t made public by the district on Thursday night’s agenda.

Geelan told the board that the district sent out requests for proposals for the brokerage services and got two proposals back. They were from Cushman & Wakefield/Pyramid Brokerage Co. and Coldwell Banker.

In the public speaker portion of the meeting, Deborah Ruggeri of Gloversville asked how much the proposed Glebe broker was due to be compensated.

“Nothing has been decided on that yet,” board President Christopher Tallon said.

Tallon said there is no upfront fee, but the eventual compensation will be made public by the board.

The Glebe building across from Knox Field and Knox Junior High School, built in 1966, currently educates second and third grades within the district.

The former Jansen Avenue Elementary School was closed in 2009, although that building is still getting educational use today.

District officials have said they are not sure if they will ultimately try to rent, sell, demolish or repurpose the Glebe building.

Enrollment has declined greatly over the years in the district, which also underwent a tumultuous budget process in 2019.

Geelan said last November that the Johnstown school system has lost about 450 students the past 10 years,

With the Glebe closing, officials say sixth grade will be moved from Warren Street Elementary School to Knox Junior High School, which would have grades six through eight. Pleasant Avenue Elementary School will house grades K through 2 while Warren will educate 3 through 5. Pre-K is expected to be at Warren.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.