Former Chenango Forks school, abandoned for years, bought by loc - Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Former Chenango Forks school, abandoned for years, bought by local agency

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BARKER (WBNG) -- The former Chenango Forks school, Charlotte Kenyon Elementary, right along route 79 in Barker has been abandoned since the late 1990s and has been purchased by a local agency.

The new owner, Opportunities for Broome Inc., made the $40,050 purchase last week.

"I think bringing a building like that back to the community is important for the community," said Opportunities for Broome Inc. Executive Director Mark Silvanic.

The 89,000 square foot school was built in 1929.

It's a three level building filled with many memories from former students, like Chenango Forks resident Michael White. 

"It was a great school," said White. "A lot of fun. A lot of good meals in the cafeteria and great movies in the auditorium. I had a good auditorium and a big gymnasium."

White started his education at the school in the mid 1960s.

He says to this day it's sad to drive by a place where he once felt so at home.

"Letting it go like they did is not acceptable," said White.

Blackbird Realty in New York City was the former owner. 

Now Opportunities for Broome Inc., has a few ideas to give the school new life. 

A new housing facility for senior citizens is a possibility as well as a place for children.

"Putting a head start there or a UPK class there as well," said Silvanic.

White adds he's hoping for change.

"To be able to see it at least turn into something that will make us proud," said White. "The alumni proud and be able to give back to the community because it is a great building." 

Officials say they plan on breaking ground within the next two years. 

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