Otisville, NY...Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) today announced an award of $100,000 in capital funding to Friends of the Otisville School (FOTOS) at a press conference on the site of the former elementary school (it was K-12 until the 1970s), which community members have been working to convert to a community center. The funding will pay for a new heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system so that community programming can be offered year round rather than just seasonally.
At the press conference, Senator Metzger joined community members spearheading the project, along with residents who attended the school as children and are eager to see the building they loved as children transformed into a community hub for all to enjoy. Renovations thus far include a commercial kitchen, and fully functional gymnasium with a performing arts stage is underway.
“I'm so pleased to be able to help support this grassroots endeavor to bring new life to a building with great historical and personal meaning to the community," said Senator Metzger. “I was involved in a similar project in my own town to repurpose the building of a beloved school that had closed, and have seen the multiple community benefits that can result from such a project."
Alison Miller, Friends of the Otisville School Secretary and Fundraising Co-Chair said, “This grant, and the Senator's support, will enable us to open our community center year-round and expand our programming and services exponentially. Alleviating HVAC costs will allow us to focus on the renovation of our gymnasium and stage, which will be a cornerstone of our community center and offer a place for local athletes and artists to practice and perform. Finally, a new, efficient HVAC system will reduce our yearly operating costs and allow us to fundraise for the rehabilitation of the upper two floors of the building, which we hope will include a Universal Pre-School and a library within the next five years. This grant is a ‘game changer’ in every aspect of the word, and we are immensely grateful to Senator Metzger for her support!”
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.