Painting donated to Chazy school in memory of David Donivan

CHAZY Students, staff and visitors of Chazy Rural Central School now have a work of art thanks to the family of a former student. The family of the late David Donivan recently donated a painting of the old Chazy school building Mr. Donivan had commissioned by a local artist more than 10 years ago. School employee Sandra LaPointe, a relative of Mr. Donivan, spoke highly of her late cousin, who attended the old school as a boy. "He loved the old school, said Ms. LaPointe. "That's why our family decided to donate the picture to the school. I know this is where he'd want it." Though Mr. Donivan initially attended Chazy Central, he eventually moved to Plattsburgh with his mother when she became ill, said Ms. LaPointe, finishing school there. The old Chazy school, explained Kevin R. Mulligan, superintendent of the Chazy school district, was demolished in 1969, to make way for the school that stands there today. The painting gives people insight as to what the building looked like, using very finite detail from the building's roof, to its mirrored reflection in the pond located on the school property today. "This school was built around the foundation of the old school," explained Superintendent Mulligan. "It was a beautiful five-story building that was built to last. The construction crew that was hired literally went bankrupt because it was so well built." Reminiscing about the old school brought up memories of other quirks and interesting features about its design. For instance, a freight elevator was used to bring each class up to the cafeteria, which is something unheard of today, said Ms. LaPointe. "Back then we didn't think anything of it," she said. "Now it wouldn't be heard of to have students on one of those." Another aspect was the building's designation as a fallout shelter, to which a tunnel ran underground for students and townspeople to evacuate to in the event of a nuclear catastrophe. The tunnel has since been filled in and barricade, leaving many today unaware such a tunnel existed, said Superintendent Mulligan. Mr. Donivan and his wife Lorraine were murdered in December 2005 at their Schuyler Falls home. Edward A. Dashnaw, an employee of their business, The House of Pine, was found guilty of the murders and sentenced to concurrent terms of life in prison without parole. Though the two died a violent death, the Donivans will be remembered through Mr. Donivan's painting and a plaque which rests directly below the encased piece of art. Superintendent Mulligan said the painting, which was encased by friends of the family Richard and Jimmy West, is a welcome addition to the school's foyer, where it can be admired on a daily basis. "It's absolutely beautiful," Superintendent Mulligan said of the painting. "We're proud to have it hang here in the school." "I've seen some kids already leaning there looking at it, and that really impressed me," added Ms. LaPointe. "They were really looking at it. This was always David's school, and he would've wanted people to see it the way he remembered it."

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