Jewish trade school looking at Syracuse Developmental Center site for east coast campus

The Syracuse Developmental Center auction, ending bankruptcy proceedings, came to a mysterious conclusion after the winning bidder covered his face and bolted out of the Onondaga County Courthouse.

The auction started shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday morning and concluded less than an minute later.

The winning bid was for $1.2 million. After the winning bidder was awarded the bid, he immediately covered his face, ran out of the courthouse, and continued running for a few blocks.

When reporters finally caught up with the man, he would only say he was an "agent." He would not disclose his name or say who he was representing.

An hour after the auction ended, the California based Jewish Educational Trade School called the Syracuse Post Standard and said the school was behind the winning bid. In a later interview with CNYCentral, Rabbi Mayer Schmukler people from the school who have seen the Syracuse Developmental Center site "really believe it can work" as an east coast campus. Rabbi Schmuker said "our intention is to put our school in there" and "to see a site like this, an opportunity like this on the east coast - we couldn't pass it up."

The Jewish Educational Trade School offers courses in plumbing, electrical and several other trades. Rabbi Schmukler said the school has helped countless Jewish youths who fell out of a traditional educational system.

The auction was the final state in a bankruptcy proceeding. Syracuse Resort Development Inc. bought the 585,000-square-foot complex from the state in 2008 for $2.2 million and filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

The complex, which includes six interconnected buildings, sits on 48 acres on South Wilbur Avenue, next to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

It includes a full size gymnasium with locker rooms, an Olympic sized swimming pool, and bowling along with cafes, lounges, a large kitchen with industrial sized ovens. There are 600 parking spaces on site.