Future of O&W Station looks bright

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MIDDLETOWN – Middletown’s fire damaged O&W Station may not be facing the wrecking ball after all.

The city has been unsuccessful in finding a buyer to restore the structure and lease it out, but now, with state and federal funding, the future of the once magnificent building looks promising.

Mayor Joseph DeStefano said State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther has secured $2 million in the state budget for the rehabilitation of the building and he would like to use $3 million from the latest federal COVID-19 relief package. Demolition of portions of the building would cost another $1.5 million with other federal and state funding sources to be explored for that.

“It is in the lowest income census track in the city and will have a positive impact on that surrounding and the whole community, plus the benefit to the farm community because the program is directed to children of migrants,” he said.

The ABCD Head Start Program, for children of farm workers, is presently located in the former Academy Avenue School building, but would be the primary tenant in the rebuilt O&W Station.