To the Adirondack Journal:
As a resident of the hamlet of Adirondack in the town of Horicon, I was at the meeting described in the July 28 Adirondack Journal, listening to the discussion of the use of the Adirondack Schoolhouse.
I’d like to correct one incorrect statement — the enterprise known as Adirondack Arts & Science Day Camp is NOT paying rent for the use of the schoolhouse during the five-week tenure, according to a Town Board member and schoolhouse representative Jane Smith.
I have no affiliation with either the schoolhouse, its activities or supporters, nor the Day Camp and its owners.
At the meeting, a gentleman stated that the building would not be available for anyone’s use if these hardworking folks in Adirondack hadn’t contributed and volunteered their time, manual labors and personal donations to accomplish the improvements to this old building — not to mention raising the additional funds necessary to continue to complete upgrades to the buildings. They have earned the right that their needs to use the building should be a priority, and their opinions should be considered.
To me, there is no disagreement that the five-week Day Camp program offered by the LaFountains to our children and grandkids is a wonderful opportunity and everyone would like the program to continue, specifically in Adirondack.
I am Project Coordinator for the Horicon Historical Society’s 1881 Adirondack Museum. In that capacity for the past year, I’ve spent many, many back-breaking volunteer hours working on the restoration of this church into a museum — as well as fundraising to convert a local historic building that is sitting empty and deteriorating, turning it into a beautiful, useable, restored building. It is an asset in terms of education, tourism and entertainment that the public can utilize — as well as providing a future legacy to our children.
Considering this, I can empathize with the schoolhouse folks at that meeting that they felt like they had no input regarding the use of the schoolhouse, and I understand their feelings of exclusion. At the same time, I feel our youth and those who contribute to their growth is a vital concern and I am happy to know I live in a community willing to contribute to that.
However, as a parent and grandparent, I would ask myself some questions about this building and whether I wanted my child there under those circumstances and what I can do to change what I am uncomfortable about. As a resident, I would like to see this discussion resolved so all concerned within our community feel we have come to a workable solution by June 2013.
Also, I’d would like to know if there is lead in the paint of this old building or asbestos in the walls. I also thought we the people of Horicon had hired a “beautification employee” — so why are our children picking up dirty trash without gloves and being exposed to invasive species of plants? Also, there is presently no hot water at the schoolhouse. I also would be concerned about the long walk on the busy roads of Adirondack going to the beach. Certainly, the long walk is good for the children, but not on the narrow Adirondack hamlet roads.
I would also ask what the requirements are to operate a day care center or camp. I believe this question was asked and Mr. LaFountain said their operation was an “Enrichment Program,” thereby bypassing applicable state requirements.
My thoughts are that we need to come together as a community with the LaFountains to promote this opportunity and find a suitable location within Horicon for the day camp purpose.
Perhaps, when a request affecting a large group comes before the Town Board, a second meeting for all involved could be held before a final commitment is made.