By Mike Pidanick
The old Military Road School building, which has been empty for decades, may soon have a significant purpose.
Youngstown-based developer David Tosetto presented a proposal at last week's Town Board meeting to turn the property into a senior living facility. It would be similar to Tosetto's Lockport senior residence.
The idea was met with enthusiasm by the board.
"I'm absolutely in favor of it," Supervisor Lee Wallace said by phone on Wednesday. "It takes a building on a main road that has been vacant for 25-30 years, off the tax base, and brings it to vibrancy. And it brings housing for seniors that is desperately needed. It's a win-win scenario."
The assisted-living facility is expected to be similar to Mount View Assisted Living, which is located at 5465 Upper Mountain Road and re-opened in August of 2015. That facility, much like the planned facility in the Town of Niagara, is built around the idea of keeping a high quality of life for the senior residents.
"We don't store people here. We really restart their life and give them a whole different place to go. And it starts with their surroundings," Tosetto said in a Niagara Frontier Publications article earlier this year.
If all goes according to plan, the Town of Niagara facility could open in late 2017 or probably more realistically early 2018, Wallace said. The next step is an environmental study and if that goes according to plan, cleanup will begin and then groundbreaking in the spring.
"I'm very excited about and so is the board," Wallace said. "It's a good thing."
The school, located at 4185 Military Road, closed in 1991 as the last school operating in the Town of Niagara. It opened in 1933.