Town Board sets Tuesday, 10/18/16 date for Spiegel Community Center funding vote
Public referendum seeks approval for $9.3 million bond
The Pittsford Town Board has set a public referendum date for October 18, 2016 to enable residents to vote on the board’s proposal to bond $9.3 million to finance complete renovation and expansion of the Spiegel Community Center.
“The Town Board recommended this option as a reasonable way forward, between a mere, but expensive, band-aid fix for the current building on the one hand, and the expensive extravagance of constructing a new building on the other,” said Pittsford Town Supervisor Bill Smith. “This proposal for the complete renovation, remodeling and expansion of our current facility will give our residents the first-class community center we need, but will not spend more than we need to,” he continued. “Our goal is to carry on our existing recreation programs, with accommodation for reasonable growth and development over time. This proposal will allow us to do so in a facility that is modern, convenient, and centrally located.”
The Spiegel Community Center Restoration and Improvement Project encompasses complete renovation, remodeling and expansion of the community center building, providing modern amenities, upgraded interior space, improved accessibility and parking, and undertaking critically needed maintenance and repairs, while also preserving the building’s historic exterior. The project depends upon public approval of the bond financing to proceed. If residents vote to approve bonding the initiative, the cost to the owner of a home of average assessed value would not exceed $69 per year over the next 15 years; the average assessed home value in Pittsford is $272,075.
The referendum vote on the project will be held on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 from 7AM – 9PM at King’s Bend Park (170 Jefferson Road). Ongoing updates about the proposed Spiegel Community Center Renovation and Improvement project will be posted on the Town website at www.townofpittsford.org/community-center-project.
Spiegel Community Center Restoration and Improvement Project
The Spiegel Community Center Restoration and Improvement project was initially intended to encompass repair and restoration of the building, located at 35 Lincoln Avenue, and its infrastructure, including the heating and cooling system, plumbing, the roof, the elevator and other items, as well as exterior repairs and renovation of interior space. Such repairs and improvements to the Spiegel Community Center were required in order to continue its role as the Town’s recreation center.
While examining these facility needs, potential additional needs surfaced; these included more efficient and pleasant programming and meeting space, increased parking, and improved access for those with differing abilities, which were suggested by members of the public. This input, along with a subsequent engineering and architectural report, prompted the Town Board to determine the need for further assessment of the project via a Master Plan, including examining the option for building a new facility.
After working with a citizens’ committee and soliciting comments from residents at public meetings and from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Pittsford Town Board released a report on July 20, 2016 recommending a complete renovation, remodeling and expansion of the Spiegel Community Center. The report concludes that renovation is the most cost-efficient and desirable option to provide the community with an attractive and functional facility able to accommodate current and future recreation programming needs. Cost, efficiency and programming goals were the key considerations for the decision.
Long-deferred maintenance of the community center building meant it would cost $6.1 million just to make needed repairs, while the cost of building a completely new structure was approximately $15 million. The complete renovation, remodeling and expansion of the existing community center, at a cost of $9.3 million, will provide a modern, efficient, convenient facility that allows the Town to continue existing recreation programs, with accommodation for reasonable program growth and development over time. As an added benefit, the project will also preserve a well-known historic community landmark.
Additional reference information regarding the Spiegel Community Center Restoration and Improvement Project, including the Town Board’s recommendation report, can be found on the Community Center webpage on the Town of Pittsford website: www.townofpittsford.org/community-center-project.