Sadly, it’s official. The Rosendale Elementary School is set to close, but what now? As of now the schools doors will close at the end of the 2012 school year. We here at Taft Street have been following this story through past blogs about the debate on closing local area schools. In what has proven to be an emotional issue among residents here in the Rondout Valley Central School District, the closing of Rosendale Elementary raises new questions and concerns. A recent article in the Daily Freeman (January 15th) illustrated the ongoing debate over the future of this beloved local school.

Rondout Valley School Board Not Interested In Selling School

The Rondout Valley School Board states in the article that they’re not interested in selling the Rosendale Elementary School, but favor leasing it because, “some parties are interested in using it”. Though not specifically naming any names, the Board has ordered appraisals of the school property be performed in order to get a better sense of the its value. Selling the property is not completely off the table, but market stats indicate that real estate sales in Ulster County, NY have not completely recovered since the recent housing downturn.  Although we feel local market conditions have improved slightly over the past 12 months, we believe any robust real estate recovery is still years away.  In 2012, look for modest gains in both values and the volume of homes sold.  Regardless, the board has reiterated that it has no intention of leaving the building vacant, which has been a concern for some residents.

Past Lessons Learned…

rosendaleThe concerns about leaving the building vacant are not unfounded; with critics pointing to the hard lessons learned from Kingston School district’s handling the closing of Tillson, NY’s Elementary with no clear plan for the future after its closing, and the building for the most part has been left vacant to deteriorate. It is a sad fate for a once thriving elementary school. Residents, local businesses, and eateries in Rosendale & Cottekill

So What Should Rosendale Elementary Become?

The obvious question now remains, what should Rosendale Elementary School become in the future? We here at Taft Street have a few suggestions. Ideally, we’d like to see it remain a school. That’s why we think that the nearby Brook Side School of the Autistic Research Center, or the A.R.C. (less than ½ mile from Rosendale Elementary!) would be a great candidate for purchasing or leasing the school. The nearby Ulster County Community College, U.C.C.C. could also make great use of a Rosendale “campus”. Perhaps an arrangement can be made or financial incentives offered to keep Rosendale Elementary a center of learning. If not a school, than perhaps a municipal building is the answer, with Rosendale Elementary becoming a branch of some civil institution. Also, we think Rosendale Elementary could make a fine business center someday, perhaps for a tech start-up, or a green-tech company. Employees and workers at this future center would surely be a boost for the local economy, simply by ordering lunch or gassing up in the area.


Taking an Optimistic & Constructive Approach

Like many, we here at Taft Street are sad to see Rosendale Elementary close its doors, but we’re taking an optimistic and constructive approach to the school’s future, in hopes that this beloved building can continue to serve the Rondout Valley area for years to come. To stay current on all things local in Ulster County, NY check back in regularly with the most read Hudson Valley Community Blog out there and visit the Taft Street Realty website as often as you’d like!

Click these links for more information on Rosendale, NY or Rosendale, NY homes for sale 

Posted by Dylan Taft on


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