Pittsford residents approve $9.3M financing for complete upgrade, remodel and expansion of the Spiegel Community Center
Town to develop project timeline
Town of Pittsford residents voted to approve $9.3 million in bond financing for the Town’s Spiegel Community Center upgrade, remodel and expansion project in a referendum held Tuesday, October 18. The unofficial vote count was 1,650 Yes (69%) and 739 No (31%).
“We worked very hard to come up with a proposal that would give us the community center our residents need and deserve,” said Mary Gehl Doyle, Town Board member and board liaison for the project. “This option is a creative and well thought-out solution – an exciting opportunity to completely transform our Spiegel Community Center” she continued.
Pittsford Town Supervisor Bill Smith commented, “The Town Board and I undertook more than a year of preparation and study, including working with a citizen's committee and with our architectural and engineering consultants, Passero Associates. Based on that work, we made a recommendation we believe to be reasonable and principled. It was important to us to know that our fellow-residents consider it reasonable as well. They gave us their answer today."
Smith continued, “We've now resolved one of the longest-standing pieces of unfinished business on Pittsford's municipal agenda. We can create a one-of-a-kind community center in an outstanding historic landmark, to serve Pittsford for decades to come.”
The Town will now move forward with finalizing the community center project design and implementing the bid process. Project phasing, scheduling, and developing temporary relocation plans for programs and staff will also be determined. Design elements and bid specifications will likely be finalized within the next six months, with a target of selecting project contractors by late spring of 2017.
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 preserving the building’s historic exterior. It will also serve as the new, permanent home for the Town’s senior center. The cost of the project’s $9.3 million bond financing to the owner of a home of average assessed value will not exceed $69 per year over the next 15 years; the average assessed home value in Pittsford is $275,075.
Detailed project information, including concept renderings, can be found on the Town of Pittsford website at www.townofpittsford.org/community-center-project. Ongoing project updates will also be posted to this webpage.
Pittsford’s Community Center Project
The Town's Community Center project considered practical options. These included building a new community center building and restoration of the existing building, located at 35 Lincoln Avenue.
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.
The Board found that it would cost $6.1 million just to make needed repairs to the existing building, with no expansion of space, no improvement to the configuration of space and no aesthetic improvement. For an additional $3.2 million in bond financing, the Town could completely upgrade, remodel and expand the building. This would create a modern, efficient, aesthetically distinguished facility to accommodate existing recreation programs and allow for their growth and development. In doing so, it would restore and preserve a well-known historic community landmark. The cost of building a completely new structure was estimated as at least $15 million.
Additional reference information regarding the Spiegel Community Center Restoration and Improvement Project, including the Town Board’s recommendation report, can be found on the Town of Pittsford website: www.townofpittsford.org/community-center-project.