Fulton County

Estee School building set to be demolished

Asbestos, demolition work will take about 8 weeks
The Estee School in Gloversville.
The Estee School in Gloversville.

Crews are performing asbestos abatement work at the Estee School in Gloversville in anticipation of demolishing the building to make way for a senior affordable-housing project. 
The asbestos and demolition work will take about eight weeks, according to Gloversville Mayor Dayton King. The work is being carried out by Carkner Construction of Liverpool, Onondaga County. 
Rome-based developer Liberty Affordable Housing will construct a 37-unit senior affordable-housing project on the site. King said construction will begin in August and will take about a year to complete. 
“It’s going to look very similar to the existing [Estee School] building,” King said of the new building.
The building, which is over 100 years old, housed Gloversville’s high school and later functioned as the city’s middle school. It was declared beyond saving last year and has been vacant for the past two decades. The last middle school class to graduate there was in 1997. 
The deal to bring an affordable-housing project to the Estee School site appeared dead last summer. County and local officials pulled the plug on a proposed project after state funding failed to materialize after three years of effort. 
But last October, however, the state Division of Homes and Community Renewal announced it would fund the $9 million project in the form of tax credits. King credited Davis Yohe of Liberty Affordable Housing with securing the state funding. 
“I think he’s one of the most persistent guys I know,” said King, noting that Yohe has called him on nearly a weekly basis for years about the project prior to the DHCR funding coming through.
The project will also benefit from a $400,000 community development block grant awarded by DHCR several years ago, and $250,000 in other state funds secured by former state Sen. Hugh Farley. 
Yohe declined to comment for this story. 
A DHCR spokeswoman said funding for the project became available last year after a previously awarded project returned its funding due to local opposition. Funds for the project are also coming from a $550 million settlement reached between Morgan Stanley and the state in connection with the bank’s sale of mortgage backed securities. 
King said no local tax dollars are going into the project. 
The Estee School building was sold by the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth to Liberty Affordable Housing for an unknown sum. Center for Regional Growth President Ron Peters did not return a request for comment. 
King said when completed the housing project will be managed by CRM Rental Management, a for-profit company also based in Rome, which has worked with Liberty on projects in the past.
He also noted that workers removed lettering that spelled out “Gloversville High School” from the building’s facade. 
“They took their time and took that down and I think they’re going to give that to the Fulton County Museum or [Gloversville] high school,” said King.

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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