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In the small town where this abandoned school can be found, the earliest educational classes were held in a one-room schoolhouse around the year 1823.
Later on, in the early 1860s, this original schoolhouse was replaced with a two-story building. The town’s first dedicated grade school was established in 1897.
In 1916, the local school board acquired land to construct a junior-and-senior high school. Construction of this Junior-Senior High School commenced in 1920, and the new gymnasium was opened to the public during a boys basketball game on December 22, 1921.
However, the new school was not finished until mid-January 1922, putting this building at an age of just over 100 years old.
A larger high school was built on the outskirts of town between 1958 and 1960, and the former building was then repurposed to house grades three through six until the 1970s.
While I am not able to provide an exact date, it does appear that the abandoned school was closed in the 1970’s. Over the years, the town have made several attempts at restoration, all have failed.
An article from 2022 stated that the village was hoping to receive a Restore New York grant from Empire State Development to reconstruct the old school building. The plan for the building was to transform it into an assisted-living senior center with 47 apartments.
Of the 47 planned units, 15 were to be set aside for frail elderly people and 10 percent of the units were planned specifically for people with mobility impairments, while another couple units were planned for people with vision or hearing impairments
Construction for the project was slated to begin in December of 2022 with the hope that rooms would be able to be rented out sometime in June 2024.
The project received a boost from a grant award of $4.6 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The project is only one of 30 nationwide to receive an award.
In December of 2022 the project received a further boost in funding through an award of $1,000,000 in “Restore New York” funds.
Sadly, just a few weeks ago in February 2023, the developer walked away from the project stating:
“Unfortunately, despite our commitment as a non-profit to take no development fees or money from the project, the dramatically increased renovation costs have made the building and maintenance of this project untenable. Available grants, tax credits, and tax credit rental limits combined could not meet the costs associated with converting this historic school building into affordable homes for seniors.”
State and local officials are hopeful that another developer will be able to step in to move forward with the project