Online Poll: McLain School housing?

Dec 07, 2017

This week we are asking:

"Do you support establishing affordable housing at the McLain School building in Rockland?"

Mayor Valli Geiger is ramping up the effort to deal with the city's lack of affordable housing by considering the possible use of the McLain School and the upper stories of downtown buildings for residences. What do you think?

See attached chart for results from last week's poll on holiday shopping.

Participation in On The Line polls is free and anonymous. You must visit to take our latest poll.

Results appear first in The Courier-Gazette and are published online each Thursday at 11 a.m.

For more information email Dan Dunkle at or call 594-4401 ext. 122.

Editor's note: On The Line polls are not scientific samplings of local opinion, but they do offer readers an opportunity to share their views online and in the newspaper.


Comments (6)
Posted by: johanna stadler | Dec 09, 2017 20:25

If I am recalling it correctly, I thought there was an air quality problem that made it unfit for students?  My belief back then was if it's not good enough for students it's not good enough to stick our seniors in.

Posted by: Barry Douglas Morse | Dec 08, 2017 16:34

Is the question phrased correctly?  The question makes it sound like Rockland would undertake a conversion project itself as a public work, and that probably wouldn't be a good idea.  And perhaps that is not the intention.  Perhaps the question is more about zoning or master plan changes needed to allow high density housing on the property.


Maybe the question to ask is whether residents are in favor of allowing affordable housing on the McLain school property, after first explaining what is meant by affordable housing.  Then comes the larger question of how Rockland would create incentives for a private developer to purchase and develop the property to that end.

Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Dec 08, 2017 12:41

Its usually a good idea to re-purpose former schools for housing - or other purposes. Let's just make sure the city thoroughly evaluates the potential for a re-purpose and any developer - and not end up with a developer who walks away with an unfinished building and $$$$ in unpaid property taxes, as is happening with the former high school next to McLain School. No one on city council has the education/training/license to evaluate a building or a developer's credentials. So how will this be accomplished to avoid another albatross/building in Rockland?

Posted by: Peter Hill | Dec 08, 2017 06:39

It seems the building would require extensive upgrades and be a high priced option for an affordable housing project. Is public funding available to renovate this old building? Are funds available to maintain and support this property in perpetuity?

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Dec 08, 2017 04:28

Most of us thought that was a good idea for  old high school but the council caved in to the few as usual.

Posted by: Valli Genevieve Geiger | Dec 07, 2017 14:30

Just want to say that I am hoping we can convert the McLain school to housing. Rockland needs housing at all income levels and it will be the Task Force’s job to make recommendations about types of housing: senior housing, middle class condos, low income housing or millennial housing. All options are open at this point.

Valli Geiger, Mayor

Rockland City Council

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