The rickety-looking house at the corner of the New Paltz Middle School property is going to have to be dealt with soon, and that might mean getting it sold. The former district office was shored up and used by the contractors handling the capital project, but that’s winding down and the condition of an empty building can drop off fast. Facilities committee chair Teresa Thompson reported at the August 4 School Board meeting that selling that land might be the best option.
Tearing down the house could cost $400,000, because it’s riddled with asbestos that would have to be addressed beforehand. Committee members even joked about inviting local firefighters to use it for practice, but unfortunately that would be even more toxic and isn’t a serious alternative. Thompson spoke to Tim Rogers, mayor of the village, who suggested that selling it to someone willing to restore the historic structure might be an option; the Oliver house next to Stewart’s on North Chestnut Street is going to be sold with that as the end goal. Whether that approach is taken or not, it appears that selling it off would be the least costly way to get this issue off the board’s radar.
School officials have always known it could be problem to address — keeping it out of the capital project was by design, to keep the cost down on the plans voters needed to approve — and trustees recognize that this is a can that should not be kicked down the road again. President Bianca Tanis indicated that it will be placed on an upcoming agenda.