A heritage-listed kindergarten looks set to stay in council hands after Launceston councillors voted against ruling out a potential sale.
In October 2023, the City of Launceston council announced it was seeking proposals for the future use of the kindergarten building at 56 Frederick Street, including leasing or selling it.
The building, built in 1836 and thought to be the oldest infant school in Australia, has been vacant since January.
Agenda documents for the December 14 council meeting show the council received 16 expressions of interest over a five-week period that ended on November 3.
One of these was later withdrawn, and of the 15 left, only two were from hopeful buyers.
Officers recommended excluding these proposals from further consideration, meaning the building will remain in council hands - as it had since the 19th Century.
The agenda said councillors indicated in a November workshop they would rather lease the building to a group that would use it for broad community benefit.
The remaining 13 parties will have to present more details about their plans for the property before February 1, 2024.
Whether or not to sell the Frederick Street property was a topic of some debate around the council table after the expressions of interest process was announced.
Councillor Tim Walker was against a potential sale, tabling a motion on October 19 to stop and restart the process, including a clause that excluded offers from buyers.
A large majority of councillors voted against the motion as they were not under any obligation to sell the building at the time, and wanted to hear all proposals.
At the time, mayor Matthew Garwood said he had "people calling me wanting to buy it", but those were not formal expressions of interest.
Councillors will vote on the matter at the December 14 meeting.