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The Buffalo News (New York)
Thomas J. Prohaska; News Niagara Reporter

LOCKPORT - The owner of Ultimate Physique said Wednesday he was "flabbergasted" that Lockport City School District voters rejected his planned purchase of Washington Hunt Elementary School.

Robert Muscarella said the future of his health club is uncertain after the purchase was rejected at the polls Tuesday by a vote of 805 to 767.

That's a corrected figure issued by the school district Wednesday, showing five fewer votes in favor of the deal than were reported Tuesday night.

The voters least directly affected by the deal were the most opposed to it. Voters who live outside the City of Lockport went against the sale by a margin of 362-251. On the other hand, voters in the 1st Ward, where Washington Hunt is located, approved of the transaction by 109-79.

The price was one-third of the appraised value the district had received for the two-story, 33,200-square-foot school, which opened in 1929. But Muscarella said he would have to spend more than $1 million removing asbestos and renovating the interior.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com

May 22, 2014

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