Unatego School Board To Decide Future Of Former Otego Elementary School

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ONEONTA, NY (WSKG) – Facing declining enrollment and fiscal stress, the Untageo School District closed the Otego Elementary School in the summer of 2017.

The future of the Otego Elementary School being discussed at a recent Unatego Board of Education meeting. (Jared Stanley/WSKG)

Last week, the Unatego Board of Education and members of the community heard plans from three potential developers on their vision for the redevelopment of the former elementary school. This comes following the district’s recent decision to cancel a contract with Endicott-based AgZeit, an indoor vertical farming business, after the company missed multiple deadlines to purchase the building.

Dirig Design, a drafting/design firm in Wells Bridge, in Otsego County, has proposed a mixed-use residential/commercial building.

Granite Data Solutions, an IT service provider based out of McClellan, California, wants to use the building as the company’s east coast full service and sales center. The company plans to partner with a local businessman to incorporate a business incubator into the space.

Oneonta Christian Academy, based in Oneonta, has proposed moving into the building to address space issues at their current location.

Eric Oellerich has four children who will be attending OCA next year. He’s excited about the opportunity to move into a bigger space. “Our school in Oneonta is too small,” Oellerich said. “It’s crowded, it’s cramped.”

“It would be nice to come into a real big school, you have the gymnasium, they could do sports, dance, they can have all the other activities that children in the public school system are exposed to,” Oellerich added.

Laurie Kaiser, an Otego resident and a teacher in the Unatego School district, is excited about the opportunity for the building to be used for education purposes.

“I’m interested in the preservation of the building and its historical significance to the local community of Otego,” Kaiser said. “The idea that it could potentially be continued to be used as a school is very exciting to me and could dovetail with what we do here in the public school.”

The school district plans to announce the winning bid at a Unatego Board of Education meeting on November 4th at 7 P.M.