" />
shs header picture
Saving the Pleasant Street School

Ron These articles were first printed in Reflections
by Ron Wischhusen '72'

Pleasant Street School


Pleasant Street -School... Update #6

Miraculously the old school has survived another Sidney winter... its 113th! And you think you're getting old!? By rights, with the holes in the roof, the building should be a lot farther gone than it is and believe me when I tell you that the hole you can see from the front is not the bad one. A hole on the north side, which isn't visible from any of the three streets that border the school, is far more severe.

However, as testament to the building's construction and as if it were hanging on against all odds... just to give us every possible chance to figure out how to save it... there it stands, just as true and as square as the day it was completed. My hope is that it's finally becoming clear to everyone else that the continuous parade of buyer, after buyer, after buyer is not getting the job done. In life, where very little is guaranteed, I'm quite sure of this... if we (alumni) don't save the school, it's doomed. No one is going to do it for us!

Editorial aside... the current owner has found out for himself that the State of New York is not awarding funds to this type of recovery project to private owners. This was just one aspect of an extensive campaign we undertook to educate him on what he's up against and his lack of activity on the property would seem to indicate that he may be the most recent, in a long series of owners, to give up. If the school ends up on the market yet again, we are prepared to use the situation to our advantage this time.

Our biggest step this past winter was to approach another local not-for-profit organization to discuss the possibility of joining forces on this project. Our committee is set to make a presentation at the May meeting of Visions 21. For the benefit of those of you that aren't aware, Visions 21 is a group of Tri-Town business people and community members that are concerned with the progression of the region made up of Bainbridge, Sidney and Unadilla (alphabetical order!) into the 21st Century. This is the type of organization with which groups such as the Preservation League of New York State, are accustomed to working.

We'll be presenting a business model involving the old school illustrating its value to the region, including a timeline for showing a return and an estimate of costs. The key to this entire process is our project/construction manager who has handled similar projects, who is familiar with low interest loan programs and has contacts across the state. For instance, NYSERDA (NYS Energy Research & Development Authority) is a source of funds for energy based (high efficiency and "green building") projects. It's just getting interesting!