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Two bids placed for Narrowsburg School

By Isabel Braverman
June 11, 2014

NARROWSBURG, NY — Two bids have recently been placed for the abandoned Narrowsburg School. One is from Joan Buto, who plans to turn the school into a drug and alcohol treatment center, and the other is from Brendan and Kathy Weiden, who said in a press release that they plan to turn it into “a multiuse facility that supports the education, arts, agriculture and food, municipal needs, fitness, wellness, recreation and tourism, with flexible use spaces for special events.”

The school has been shuttered since 2005. Recently the Solution Project made a bid, but that was not accepted. Now it seems the Sullivan West School Board will decide between Buto and the Weidens. Its meeting is on Thursday, June 12 at 7 p.m. at the high school library in Lake Huntington, and it is possible they will make a decision then. It is also possible that they will hold an executive session, or wait to make the decision.

Buto and her brother Robert run a rehab in North Lauderdale, FL (www.changestreatmentcenter.com). If they got the Narrowsburg building, it would be operated as a rehab center, but it wouldn’t accept Medicare or Medicaid and would likely cater to an affluent clientele. At the Tusten Town meeting held on Tuesday, June 11, at which the school was discussed, someone in the audience said, “We’ll see Charlie Sheen walking down Main Street.” At the meeting, Supervisor Carol Wingert reminded the many people in the audience who were there to talk about the school, that the Tusten Town Board had no power in the school board’s decision, and that whatever choice they make is what the town will have to accept. However, the town does decide whether or not the winning bidder will be compliant with the town’s zoning regulations, and if not that could hold up the process.

The Weidens placed their bid for $710,000 on June 10 (the building’s listed price is $700,000, and that is the amount of the bid that Joan Buto made). In the press release, the Weidens said, “We are proud to be the fourth generation of a family rooted in the Town of Tusten. We embrace our responsibility as a steward of our piece of the upper Delaware Valley. We have waited for others to breathe life into the empty halls of the Narrowsburg School. There comes a time when one realizes that WE are ‘the others.’ We have a vision for this facility, as a centerpiece of the life of the Town of Tusten and the hamlet of Narrowsburg.”

Press release from Sullivan West Central School District: