Maple Avenue School proposal is defeated by 3-to-1 margin

| 26 Feb 2020 | 01:19

Chester. The unofficial totals for today's referendum in the Chester Union Free School district are 626-208 against the district's proposal to borrow $7.9 million to build a field house and multi-sport athletic field on the site of the 1935 Maple Avenue School. The proposal included razing the school to make way for the new facilities. The district said this proposal was the most viable among five options it had considered, including making repairs for an estimated $4 million, mothballing the school without making repairs, selling the building, or leasing the building. The school district had leased the building from 2004 to 2019 to Orange-Ulster BOCES. The district said BOCES terminated the lease in part because of the building's deteriorating condition. But many residents were saddened by the prospect of losing this venerable part of the community. "I wish I had the right words," said Gene Winters after the vote. "All I can say, Chester came out to protect a landmark, and open the future to make a old treasure back to life."