Rescue Me: The Balmville School

Sitting at the corner of 9W and Balmville Road sits the ruins of the Balmville School in the Town of Newburgh, erected in 1897. In 2007 a news article it was announced that the building would be demolished. That obviously hasn’t happened and there is a Facebook group dedicated to saving the building. There is no recent news of any demolition or rehabilitation efforts. It would be a terrible shame to see it torn down. If you wish to learn more about the history of the old Balmville School, click here and skip to chapter 8.

6 Comment

  • This school is a symbol of the f*%#-you attitude from the school district. They talked about razing this building about 10 years ago and because of public backlash rescinded that plan. So instead, they let the building continue to deteriorate. I don’t understand why- when our school taxes are so extraordinarily high- that no one seems to make efforts to hold our district leaders accountable. They have failed our school buildings for years by neglecting maintenance- and yet they have the audacity of funding yet another new building in this current budget. Beyond failing a number of our most vulnerable students by fudging attendance records and promoting sports over academics and the arts, they have demonstrated a disregard for their responsibility. The old Balmville School is an appropriate symbol of the rot that infests this district. Of course they want to knock it down.

    • Town of Newburgh, NY – When Annie Delano-Hitch gave money to build the new “Balmville School~1897”, she hoped it would serve the community for years to come!!! “Let’s ENERGIZE – SUPERFUND – TRANSFORM” the “Old Balmville School~1897”; it’s Doable!!! Semper Fi. End of text. Hernandez USMC sends. #AllHistoricalLandmarksMatter Balmville has been a part of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District since consolidation in 1963. The original Balmville School building stood on what later became the Desmond Estate. When that building (which has long since been demolished) outgrew its space, it was replaced by a new building built on land donated by Warren Delano of the Delano family with funds donated by his daughter, Annie Delano-Hitch. Mrs. Hitch was a lifelong Balmville resident whose sister was Sara Delano Roosevelt, the mother of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This old elementary school building with a cornerstone indicating construction in 1897 is still standing today. It stands on what is now the northeast corner of U.S. Route 9W and Fostertown Road. (The current Route 9W was constructed in the late 1920s.) It is immediately north of the current elementary school, at the southeast corner of 9W and Fostertown Road, which was initially constructed in 1953-54, but was added onto many times since, most recently in 2007. In 2007, the Board of Education of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District voted to demolish the older school building and expend $375,000 to do so. The school board concluded that the building is “unstable” and poses a “health and safety hazard even to those just walking or parking outside.” This conclusion was based upon an architectural survey commissioned by the Board of Education. Local civic and historic groups rose up and demanded that this historically and architecturally significant building be spared. Local developers Rick Milton and Keith Libolt stepped forward and offered buy the building, restore it, and lease it back to the school district. Milton charged that District Administrators and the architect’s report “scared the board into thinking that the building is going to fall down. It’s not true.” Milton further charged that the administrators were simply looking for a quick way to create more parking spaces for the “new” school and contended that additional parking could be found elsewhere on the school property. The Board of Education relented and rescinded its demolition order. Although most classes have been held in the “new” Balmville School since 1954, some classes had been held in the “old” building as late as the mid-1970s, and it had been used for offices and other administrative purposes up to the mid-1980s. It had been used for storage since. Milton and Libolt propose using the “old” building for administrative and office space, freeing the space used in the “new” building for these purposes and also for expanding the school library.[3] On Oct. 30, 2007, the Board of Education voted to table the demolition for the time being.[4]

      • Excellent post, thank you. Just 15 cents additional per month/property if “The Balmville School” restoration was rolled into the recently approved school district bonding. That’s based on a $4mil.
        cost guesstimate. For some perspective, full market value of the active Balmville School is $4.5mil.; Horizons on the Hudson is $5mil.. Any applied financial aid or possible historical grants, depending on final usage of the original building, would reduce the cost. I think my penny cannister in the basement has enough to cover my nobro ward for at least a year.
        I’m not sure what “the demolition and reconstruction of a 119 year old building section” is referencing in the link below as it’s not itemized in the ‘scope of work(s)’. None the less, I find it ironic that the status of this historic school was/is never discussed at the historic City of Newburgh Council meetings, given that the majority of the Council members are school district employees. It can’t be that the two entities are not to be convoluted, as the school budget was recently pimped to the public at the meeting just prior to the school budget vote.
        Maybe next year…
        Propositions 4 and 5 of the approved bond combined costs to the taxpayers is $74million, basis $1.82 per $100,000 assessment, per month, $2.82 monthly per average City of Newburgh residential property value of $155k.
        Balmville School, Newburgh, 5144
        Horizons on the Hudson, City of Newburgh, 137 Montgomery St.

  • The district tax payers are on the hook for $220,000 to enhance transparency with regards to attendance data. The problem was “transparency”. Eliminate the system “overrides” because some of the adults in the room don’t know how to behave. As well, too much public/public partnership in the City of Newburgh, imo.

    “Old Balmville School~1897” Town of Newburgh, N.Y.
    “The Old Balmville School ~ 1897 is the Peoples School” which in fact is a “Historical Site”; the main rail of the true meaning of the words: “Of the People, By the People, and For the People”, who in fact are the rightful owners that happen to be the “Tax-payers”, through its definition. The Newburgh Board of Education is the “Custodian”, not solely the Owner, who happens to be the “Gate Keeper” that holds the Keys in its possession; “Authority, Accountability, Responsibility” ~ Charged w/ maintaining the upkeep of this Facility & Grounds IAW the N.Y. Dept. of State Maintenance & Fire Codes @ all times; a Fact that’s not Negotiable and then some!!!
    It must never ever be jeopardized through compromise for compensation with regards to a “Fictional time-table completion”! I would strongly urge each and everyone, to take the opportunity by making the time, to contact the elected Officials of the Newburgh Board of Education and the elected Political Leaders whose Districts include Newburgh and the Town of Newburgh areas.
    Let all of these Public Officials know that “We the People” have a very important and vital message for them, and that is: “LET’S ENERGIZE/ SUPERFUND/ TRANSFORM” The OLD BALMVILLE SCHOOL~1897″. Through Our Actions. We will Inspire Others!!! Semper Fi. End of text. Hernandez USMC sends.

  • I would like to take a good look at the building for commercial adaptive reuse that preserves all the historic features. How do I get access to the interior of the building?