Frank Rizzo | Democrat
The former Delaware Valley Central School in Callicoon is planned to become an international boarding school, says its new owner, Emily Yu.
Story by Dan Hust
CALLICOON September 27, 2013 The former Delaware Valley Central School will become a private boarding school for international students, confirmed its new owner, Emily Yu.
In an interview yesterday with the Democrat, Yu detailed her plans for the 100,000-square-foot facility and 67 surrounding acres.
“We are planning to build a boarding school there,” she affirmed. “Basically, that school building has everything. It’s in very decent shape.”
Yu is currently the director of the Windsor School in Flushing, Queens, a private 7-12 school that prepares both domestic and international pupils for American universities.
She’s looking to duplicate that successful venture at the old DV site along Route 97, overlooking the Delaware River between Callicoon and Hankins.
Yu initially plans to enroll between 200 and 400 young people from outside the U.S. She affirmed that would include the Asian and Spanish populations dominant in the Flushing school, but she added that international students would be accepted and recruited from all over the globe.
“Our market is the international student,” she explained.
They’ll be housed on-site in dormitories she hopes to build in the next year, opening the to-be-named sister of the Windsor School by 2015.
The DV school has been shuttered since 2005, closed by the Sullivan West district in a cost-cutting move. Yu spent the past year investigating purchasing it, and she closed the deal with SW for $1.16 million on Monday.
The return of that property to the tax rolls which has been tax-exempt for the six decades it served as a public school is not the only good news for locals.
Yu affirmed she’ll be seeking to fill at least 40 positions teachers, custodians, drivers, dormitory supervisors from the local workforce.
The existing management team in Flushing will oversee the DV location, she said, though both schools may ultimately have separate educational licenses from the state (a process she’s just now starting).
Yu added that she will be seeking tax incentives from county and state economic development agencies, but she’s not looking to make it tax-exempt.
“Tax abatements really help a business get started,” Yu said.
She looks forward to getting to work on the property once the Town of Fremont and other permits are in hand, likely by next year.
So far, locals’ cooperation and friendliness have impressed her just as much as the usefulness and condition of DV itself.
“I really like the place,” she noted. “The people are so nice, and it is beautiful!”