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Inside Out

What’s going to happen?

Jeanne Sager
Posted 9/7/21

Two thousand three hundred forty. That’s how many days a kid, the average kid, spends in a k-12 school building.

Granted, there aren’t nearly as many of these buildings now as there …

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Inside Out

What’s going to happen?

Posted

Two thousand three hundred forty. That’s how many days a kid, the average kid, spends in a k-12 school building.

Granted, there aren’t nearly as many of these buildings now as there were in the past. New York State’s push to centralize schools has done away with that.

And yet the graduates of these buildings number in the hundreds of thousands.

I should know. I was one of them. I spent thousands of hours in the same building on the drive between Callicoon and Hankins, learning to put parentheses before exponents and apply Pythagoras’ Theorem.

And now the place where I was drilled on my multiplication tables and ABCs both sits empty, doors hanging wide.

In 2013, the building was sold by the district to a Chinese company that scooped up what was then a 60-year-old, 100,000-square-foot building and surrounding land.

As a taxpayer, I should shrug. The building has, after all, been sold off to a tax-bearing entity. It’s not our problem anymore.

But something keeps me from simply walking away.

I learned to spell here, to read here, to string words together here.

It’s a place that’s helped shape Pulitzer Prize winners and Division One athletes.

When the school was sold, the plans announced were for a new kind of school, one for international students. But something happened, and the students never came.

I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a new future for this building. Could it be a Catskills hotel? Come! Stay in a school for a night!

Or maybe another school can move in.

It’s a stretch, I know, but we’ve waited more than 1,440 days to see something happen to our old school.

Plenty of us would have graduated by now.

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