Former elementary school to become NY forest ranger academy

State News

In this Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 photo, James Rusher, a park ranger at Falls Lake State Recreation Area, stands next to a stone retaining wall he was building in advance of adding a footbridge along the Mountains-to-Sea trail in Wake Forest, N.C. Efforts to boost the 1,000-mile trail in 2015 include a master plan commissioned by North Carolina, a comprehensive hiking guide and trail additions in several cities. (AP Photo/Jonathan Drew)

CLEVELAND, N.Y. (AP) — A former elementary school in northern New York will become a training academy for state forest rangers and environmental conservation officers.

The Department of Environmental Conservation says it has purchased the former Cleveland Elementary School in Oswego County for $199,000.

The school closed five years ago due to declining enrollment. It sits on 13 acres within view of Oneida Lake and has 23 classrooms, a gym and a commercial kitchen.

The location is 30 miles from the current DEC training facility in Pulaski. That facility is a former log-cabin motel that lacks a gym and classroom space needed for training.

DEC is currently training 30 conservation officers and 14 rangers at the Pulaski facility.

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