North Haven Schoolhouse May See New Life as Museum

The Old Schoolhouse in North Haven. Stephen J. Kotz photo

If North Haven Village Trustee Dianne Skilbred gets her way, the Old Schoolhouse on Ferry Road, which has been relegated to use as a storage building, will be reborn as a museum that would be open to the public on a limited basis.

On Tuesday, the North Haven Village Board took the first tentative step in that direction when it signed off on Ms. Skilbred’s request to order a Dumpster, so the building can be cleaned out. “We store junk in there,” she said. “It’s a waste of a nice building.”

Ms. Skilbred said she would work with village historian Joe Zaykowski to go through some of the stuff that is stored in the building. She said a pot-belly stove, used when the building was opened in 1875, was still in the building, and she believe at least some old desks may still be available.

Board members, who discussed the proposal briefly, asked if the building would require plumbing or other upgrades to be used as a museum, and Ms. Skilbred said she would look into what would be required.

On Wednesday, she said she would love to see the building open as early as this summer, but she added it might take another season to get everything in order. She asked if anyone in the community has photographs of what the interior of the building looked like when it was used as a school to contact her at village hall.

In other action, the board agreed to ask village attorney Tony Tohill to draft an amendment to the zoning code, placing new height restrictions on flat-roofed houses. Under a proposal offered by Trustee James Laspesa, who is an architect, the village would allow traditional gabled roofed houses to remain 35 feet tall, but houses with flat roofs would be limited to 28 feet on lots larger than an acre, 26 feet on lots between a half and one-acre and 23 feet on lots of less than a half-acre.

The new law would provide an allowance for houses built in flood zones and would add a new pyramid-law requirement, which limits the height of a house to its distance from the property line, to the village code. Mayor Jeff Sander said he hoped to have a draft of the law ready by the March meeting, so a hearing could be scheduled for April.