North Haven Village Funds Moving Old Schoolhouse to Village Hall Property

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

The North Haven Village Board voted Tuesday to move an historic schoolhouse that dates back to 1847 to its village hall property on Ferry Road, where a committee of community members hopes to see it transformed into a museum to showcase the evolution of education over the past two centuries.

The decision to fund the move of the village-owned structure at the corner of Ferry Road and Payne Avenue at a maximum cost of $30,000 was unanimous, save for David Saskas, who was absent.

According to Trustee Dianne Skilbred — who has spearheaded the initiative along with North Haven Village Improvement Society President Jessica von Hagn and resident Susan Edwards — New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. has said he will look for state grants for the project. Ms. Edwards is also in touch with Preserve Long Island to see if additional funding might be available.

According to a presentation made by members of the committee on Tuesday, the old schoolhouse building is one of three that were constructed over two centuries since 1796 in North Haven. It is the village’s first and only official historic landmark property. Constructed at its current location to replace the first schoolhouse in 1846, it was eventually sold and moved to the corner of Maunekea and Ferry Road after a larger schoolhouse was built on an adjacent parcel at Ferry Road and Payne Avenue. It was used as a woodshed for roughly 40 years before the newly formed North Haven Village Improvement Society arranged for an exchange of buildings in 1932 to return the old schoolhouse to its original location.

Village Adopts New Septic Requirements

The Village Board voted 4-0 to adopt a local law on Tuesday requiring residents to install “innovative/alternative” on-site wastewater treatment systems, designed to reduce nitrogen output, for all new construction as well as for renovations that are required to include a septic system upgrade by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

According to Mayor Jeff Sander, he and Ms. Skilbred looked at existing codes in both Southampton and Westhampton Beach to draft the legislation, which is not be limited to specific areas of the village but will apply to all new construction or substantial renovations. Mr. Sander noted that the village will allow homeowners to seek a variance from the Village Board of Trustees if they can demonstrate construction of a nitrogen-reducing system poses an economic hardship.

“I think it is the right thing to proceed with,” said Mr. Sander, noting that North Haven was “a little late to the game.”

In April, the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees voted to require “I/A” septic systems whenever a substantial upgrade or replacement of a conventional septic system is required by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services; whenever the floor area of a building is increased by 25 percent or more; and for all nonresidential properties that require site plan review. East Hampton Town has a similar code.

Children in North Haven are expected to be offered a free tennis clinic weekly by Steve Annacone, the president of Annacone Tennis Management and brother of, and former coach for, retired tennis pro Paul Annacone. The board agreed to allow Mr. Annacone to offer the clinic for one hour weekly at the village-owned courts next to Village Hall. The free clinics, according to village clerk Eileen Tuohy, would be for children ages six to 13.

“His primary goal is just to get kids playing tennis outside and making use of the tennis courts,” she said, suggesting that Wednesday mornings could be an ideal time to schedule the clinics. Mr. Annacone said he would care for the courts, she added, and provide tennis equipment.

North Haven Village will hold its annual reorganizational meeting on Tuesday, July 2, at 5 p.m. at North Haven Village Hall.