Non-profit organization presents proposal for former school building (Photos Included)

(Photo provided by Timothy A. Bennett, Owner & Publisher of The Cortland Voice).

A non-profit organization conducted a presentation on its proposed plan for the former Parker School building on Thursday, with dozens of community members providing their input.

Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services (INHS) – “dedicated to expanding housing opportunities for low and moderate-income residents” of Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Schuyler, Seneca, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties – conducted a presentation on potentially turning the former school building into quality housing for modest income workers.

The housing would also be provided for people with intellectual, developmental and mobility needs.

The City of Cortland recently received $2 million from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s $112.9 million Restore New York Communities Initiative. The grant funding is for redevelopment of the school building into workforce housing units.

The former school building, located at 89 Madison St. in Cortland, was closed by the Cortland Enlarged City School District (CECSD) in 2018.

CECSD sold the building to the city for $91 in 2021, the former elementary school structure was in line to be the home of the Cortland Community Early Learning Center (CCELC).

The CCELC would have consolidated early childhood education services provided by the local YWCA and CAPCO into one building. The project, however, was halted and eventually “no longer pursued,” (announced in Sept. 2022) due to inflated construction costs.

Beyond the proposal for workforce housing, INHS is considering options for beneficial use of space beyond its proposal. This includes a possible spot for child care in the building, but depends on INHS getting a provider to work with them.