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Neighbors: Dilapidated School Should be Torn Down
SCHENECTADYA 100 year old abandoned school in the middle of Schenectady is literally falling down and neighbors who live near it want the city to step up and do something about it.
It's hard to takeit was such a beautiful building if it was properly taken care of after the purchase, it probably would have turned out to be something beautiful, says Joan Rutecki who lives across the street from the old Saint Marys Catholic School along Irving Street. The building was sold to K A Development LLC several years ago which has failed to pay taxes on it since at least 2007 and abandoned the property long ago.
The building is full of squatters, its crazy and they mainly get in through the back door, Rutecki says. She worries about open doors and windows which make it easy not only for squatters but for curious children to get inside. She and other neighbors who contacted CBS6 feel like its only a matter of time before something terrible happens in or near the condemned building. We heard a big crash on a windy day and it was the window coming out, the window was just like whoosh, boom and that was it, it fell right onto the street, she says.
Schenectady Police have been called to the property on a number of occasions as recently as last week. There was an individual who was allegedly in the building and throwing things down upon people who were walking on the sidewalks, says Lt. Mark McCracken. The officers themselves dont go inside the school though because its too dangerous, that building has some rotting floors, they were able to check what they could without putting their own lives unnecessarily at risk, McCracken adds.
K A Development LLC owes the City of Schenectady $151,934.16 in back taxes. The lien against this property and about 100 others was sold to American Tax Funding several years ago. The City of Schenectady and American Tax Funding are currently in the middle of a court battle to determine the fate of these properties. Until a decision is made, the properties are in limbo.
If they see squatters in and out, I want them to call the Police Department. We'll send somebody up, we'll get them out of there. We don't want those people in there, there could be structural issues with the building so we don't want individuals going in there and getting hurt and then there's also the problem where they get in and start a fire, then you get a major event, we don't want that and I don't want the negative influence of the property on the adjacent residents in the neighborhood says Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy who asks neighbors in that area to be patient during the court battle.