WATERTOWN, NY — Michael E. Lundy, Lundy Development and Property Management, Watertown, NY, announced today that he has completed the purchase for the Odd Fellows Hall, located at the corner of Linden Street and Route 37, Ogdensburg, NY.
The location and building will now become the site of a new First Student Transportation facility. The $1,000,000 project will completely re-purpose the 16,000 sq. ft. building, while utilizing the existing parking area.
First Student has signed a long-term lease arrangement with Lundy Development and will manage busing operations for the Ogdensburg City and Lisbon School Districts out of the new centralized location.
First Student Area General Manager Dave Kinley commented on the new facility. “We have had a wonderful relationship with both the Ogdensburg City and Lisbon School Districts for decades, and this new and improved facility will only enhance that relationship and services. Its centralized location will enable us to continue to provide safe quality transportation to both District’s for many years to come. In addition, we look forward to our continued working relationship with Mike Lundy and Lundy Development, who will give us a great facility to meet all of our needs.”
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows Community Hall at Linden Street and Route 37 sits on about 4 acres of land, including a large paved parking area. The structure was built in 1976, when there were upwards of 100 active members of the fraternal organization. According to Odd Fellows Trustee Joseph Franche, who joined the group 35 years ago, the number of active members has steadily declined. “With the declining membership we were no longer able to hold our main fundraiser and source of income – Bingo. It became necessary to put the building up for sale. Although it is bitter sweet to see the building being sold, it is great to see how it will be used for the students and their transportation, and the employment it brings to the community.”
LUNCO Corporation will begin the re-construction project as soon as the final design is complete. Mr. Lundy calls it a “re-construction” project because of the buildings structure, a Butler Pre-Engineered building. “We are the Butler Builder for Northern New York, and have been for over 50 years, so we understand all aspects and capabilities of Butler pre-engineered structures. We will basically disassemble the building and put it back together in an improved, reconfigured, taller structure that is customized to First Student’s specific needs, as well as meeting today’s current codes.”
Mr. Lundy noted that the facility will have office space, three bus inspection bays, as well as allow for six bays of indoor bus storage. In addition, approximately 2,000 sq. ft. will be leased out to the Odd Fellows, so they may continue to have a meeting and gathering space.
Sarah Purdy, Ogdensburg City Manager, welcomed the project with open arms. “We are excited to see the property put to such a good use, not only in helping the students and their transportation, but in the entire business aspect it brings to the Odgensburg community. The positive investment it makes long-term with the employment in our community is wonderful and we will work cooperatively to make it a success.” Gregg Mallette, Code Enforcement added, “I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Lundy and his team on the Center for Sight renovations a few years ago on Ford Street, and it went smoothly and came out beautiful. It is a real asset to our City. I look forward to working with Mike and his Group on this project for the same results.”
First Student is the largest operator of school buses in New York. The company has 54 locations in the state. More than 4,000 employees manage nearly 3,800 routes and a fleet of nearly 4,200 buses. As the leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student strives to provide the best start and finish to every school day. First Student completes five million student journeys each day, moving more passengers than all U.S. airlines combined. With a team of highly-trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services for 1,100 school district contracts.
Sometimes referred to as “the three-link fraternity” for the group’s principles of friendship, love and truth, the Odd Fellows trace their roots to 17th century England, with the first Independent Order of Odd Fellows founded in North America in Baltimore, Md., in 1819, according to the fraternal organization’s website.
Today, there are nearly 10,000 lodges in approximately 26 countries consisting of men and women who work together “for mutual aid and conviviality, providing social and practical support for each other and
their communities in every way possible,” according to the organization.