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CORONA – The General Assembly of the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox parish of Corona approved on March 1 the proposed lease terms for the school building to the NYC Department of Education (DOE) and also to continue negotiations.

According to proposed lease ordained by TNH, the school building would be leased for twenty years from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2034. Also the DOE “shall have the option to extend the lease by another five (5) years, for the period from July 1, 2034 through June 30, 2039.”

The terms of the lease have as follows:

$625,046.02 for years 1 through 5.

$675,100.96 for years 6 through 10.

$729,006.28 for years 11 through 15.

$787,403.71 for years 16 through 20.

Also there is the option term of $850,293.25 for years 21 through 25.

The General Assembly was held in the church itself because the renovations in the Church hall.  The Assembly was attended by 44 members, of which 28 voted in favor, 2 against, and the rest abstained or departed prior to the vote. Costas Prentzas was elected Assembly Chairman.

TNH has learned that officials of the parish will visit Archbishop Demetrios of America in order to inform him and request from him to approve the proposed lease.

The school building was the home of the Day Greek School of the parish, which closed some four years ago. Attempts to make it a charter school were unsuccessful. It is reminded here that four Day Greek School closed the recent years in New York the recent years under the tenure of the current Archbishop Demetrios of America and Corona’s was one of them.

According to the proposed lease, the parish will be responsible for the external renovations of the building and the DOE for the interior renovations.

The DOE will pay for electricity, heat, hot and cold water, water charges and sewer charges, cleaning and custodial services. As far as real estate taxes and assessments, the premises are currently tax-exempt.

According to the proposed lease the DOE “shall have the right to terminate the lease five (5) years after lease commencement, upon 365 days prior written notice to the Landlord.”

Parish  attorney Elias Fillas told TNH that “the church wants us to continue the negotiations with the Department of Education.” Parish Council President Penny Viennas did not respond to TNH’s request for comment.

Prentzas told TNH that “I am very happy with the outcome because we achieved a much-respected lease from the Department of Education, which secures the positions of our parish from $390, 000 to $625,000 the year for the first five years.”

When asked about the climate in the parish, Prentzas said “even those who had some doubts and questions they received answers and according to the outcome of the vote 90% voted in favor.”

Prentzas verified TNH’s information that parish officials will meet with Archbishop Demetrios. He said that “we follow the charter of the parish and also of the Archdiocese. We are going to inform the archbishop so we can go ahead and prepare the agreement. We are going to call a General Assembly again to inform the membership as to where we are and to make some corrections not only us but also the Department of Education.” He said the parish would respect Demetrios’ response, whatever it is.

Prentzas also verified TNH’s information that the consulting company Valone & Constantinople will be paid $18,000 and the East Hudson Realty $550,000. He said “the numbers you mentioned are correct, $18,000 for the consulting company and from what we know $550,000 the Realty which will get a certain amount upfront and the rest in installments.”

The parish elections have not been validated yet. Asked why the delay and if there is a problem, Prentzas said “I don’t think so.”


Source: The National Herald
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