FONDA-The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a public hearing and vote on the future of the former West Hill Elementary School.
On Tuesday, the supervisors passed a resolution that established a public hearing on the old West Hill School building for July 26. After the public hearing, the board will vote on whether to turn the building over to the village of Canajoharie.
The public is invited to come to the hearing and voice opinions on the subject.
The former West Hill Elementary School in Canajoharie is shown Friday.
Arthur Cleveland The Leader-Herald
"I would doubt very much that anyone would come to this public meeting that would be opposed to it," Montgomery Board of Supervisors Chairman Shayne T. Walters, the supervisor for the town of Charleston, said.
Walters said he did not know exactly how long it would take to transfer the deed over to the village if the board approves it.
"It might take a few weeks," Walters said.
Hein Kraak, owner of the Elephant Bistro in Canajoharie, is confident the resolution will go through. Together with other concerned people, he has formed a volunteer group to repair the dilapidated structure.
Kraak said Friday he has about 200 volunteers and has a fund set up to accept donations.
"The community is willing to help," Kraak said.
Canajoharie Mayor Francis E. Avery has said volunteers are just waiting for the approval before they start to rebuild. He said the volunteers could go in "as quickly as we sign on the dotted line."
"I think it is encouraging," Avery said of the response from the community so far.
The building, called a "glorified birdhouse" by Kraak, is in need of massive repairs. Kraak said the roof contains almost 30 holes, some big enough to drive a car through. More than 130 windows need to be replaced, and a new staircase and heating system are needed, he said.
The West Hill School Building is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built on the site of Canajoharie Academy, where Susan B. Anthony, the famous women's rights activist, worked for two years.