Over the past dozen years, Warren County has, through the consolidation of elementary schools, built a small collection of large, vacant , but potentially useful, properties.
Some of them have languished for years off the tax rolls; all of them have suffered the effects of vacancy and the elements, from vandalism and unsightly grounds to systems degeneration. But the bones have survived. Remember, these former schools were designed and built to last a long time.
In the past couple weeks, we have been pleased to report that two of these buildings, the former Pittsfield Elementary and the former Jefferson Street School - have either been sold to new owners or are in the process of being sold.
In the case of Pittsfield, an entrepreneur has plans for a kart track and related facility.
The Jefferson Street School had been sold before, to a Korean Presbyterian group who had plans for a seminary. Those plans never materialized, and, according to the most recent tax delinquency listing, the group had stopped paying taxes on the property.
When Thomas and Sally Pellegrino of Warren purchased it from the group, they immediately began cleaning the place up, an advancement in itself.
The Pellegrino family, already successful business people with a stable presence in Warren, haven't yet revealed their plans for the property, but we're confident they have done their homework, recognized the building's potential, and will bring stability and a useful life to the property.
We believe that both cases bode well for the future and indicate that there are those who have confidence in this community's ability to prosper. They indicate that confidence with their commitment of time, effort and money to their dreams.