A downtown Johnson City property that's been empty since a fire tore through three buildings nearly two decades ago may soon be used by Broome-Tioga BOCES.

A public hearing on a proposed project for the site at 476 Main Street will be held next week.

BOCES chief operating officer John Harvey said the site would be utilized to provide additional parking for the Johnson City Learning Center, which is located across Baker Street.

Harvey said BOCES plans to increase professional development opportunities for the educators in the 15 school districts it serves.

Renovation work needed at the learning center could take bewteen six and 12 months to complete.

Although there now is limited parking for the facility, the proposed lot at Main and Baker streets could provide about 40 more spaces.

The village zoning board will hold a hearing at 7:30 p.m. Monday on a requested use variance for the vacant lot. The hearing will take place at the Johnson City Municipal Building.

The lot was cleared following a January 2002 arson fire that destroyed three apartment buildings, leaving dozens of people homeless.

The property was acquired by a unit of Endicott-based Marchuska Development eight years ago.

This site may be used by Broome-Tioga BOCES to provide parking for its Johnson City Learning Center, located in a former church building across the street. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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