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Parker project underway after clearing first major hurdle

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After several years of planning — and months of additional deliberation — the Parker school project has taken a major leap forward.

Last night, Cortland Common Council voted (6-2) in favor of transferring ownership of the building from the School district to the City.

This frees up millions of critical grant dollars available only to municipalities. CAPCO and YWCA will now work towards transitioning the former elementary school into an early childhood education center.

Questions over the long-term viability of the project had been holding up the process. The same vote from last night was delayed at a previous meeting earlier this month.

Kelly Tobin, executive director of the YWCA, addressed those concerns once again at yesterday’s meeting:

“We have costs projected out for 10 years,” said Tobin. “There is no crystal ball, but we always try to look at what’s coming so we can get an idea. Once we get in, applying for more resources won’t stop.”

Next, city leaders will hire an architect to conduct an updated analysis of the building and estimate costs for the initial phase of reconstruction.

Most expenses are eligible for reimbursement by the state. Former Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton secured over $1 million alone for the project.

Her predecessor, Dr. Anna Kelles, wrote a letter to the city just last week confirming these funds are still at hand.

Kelles’ letter also hints at the possibility of another $500k from Empire State Development (ESD).


Stay tuned with WXHC as this story develops.

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