With redevelopment weighed, city releases examine of East Hill fire station’s long term

ITHACA, N.Y. –– A review not too long ago published by the town of Ithaca provides new perception on potential plans for a new or relocated East Hill Fire Station No.2 in the heart of Collegetown.

The examine, done by Kingsbury Architecture and assisted by Charles R. Wilson Engineering and Griffiths Engineering, was supposed to aid the metropolis of Ithaca decided regardless of whether or not it manufactured extra monetary sense to renovate the current station built in 1968, or relocate the hearth station to a new web-site and sell off the likely profitable inner Collegetown home. The research was performed by Kingsbury in the summer of 2015, and handed around to the metropolis that September.

Given that that time, the research was anything the metropolis held close to its proverbial chest. In a July 2018 ask for for information and facts, planner Jennifer Kusznir said “(i)nformation from this assessment can be built accessible on request,” which would not just recommend a cost-free floe of data. A observe-up to Kusznir and town Arranging Director JoAnn Cornish requesting a duplicate of the 2015 report was by no means responded to.

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With a new Request for Expressions of Curiosity posted, the town has lastly determined to show its playing cards. A duplicate of the 108-page examine was posted to the city’s web site last week.

The report tends to make no firm tips but notes the alternatives that lay before the city at the time – renovation, and the chance of building a new station on Cornell land at 120 Maple Avenue. The research involved an analysis of the problem of the present half-century outdated fire station, and supplies conceptual drawings and price estimates for a new station on the Cornell internet site.

The report did carry a number of warnings concerning the Cornell residence. Alongside with feasible soil contamination from previous railroad pursuits, one of the four storage properties that would have been removed to make way for a fireplace station was utilised to retailer radioactive waste. Remediation and relocation of the Cornell services would have resulted in an unsure time body, and may perhaps be a variable in why the Cornell website is no for a longer time an energetic thing to consider. The internet site also has weak soils that would have necessitated a unique and much more expensive basis layout. The expenditures of producing a station on the site were believed at $7,464,000.

The report also tried to estimate what a station would charge at a “best” site with no problems, utility connections out there and nominal web page prep necessary. To build anything very similar to the West Hill and South Hill fire stations (a 9,400 sq.-foot setting up in the analyze) would expense $4,236,000. Numerous web-sites are look at for feasibility based mostly on reaction time, like Cornell house at 695 Dryden Street and 634 Dryden Highway, 380 Pine Tree Street, and 900 Mitchell Road, the final two currently being a lot less favorable in that requirements thanks to longer occasions to get to Cornell Heights and Cornell’s North Campus (and 900 Mitchell Avenue was redeveloped as part of Cornell’s Maplewood project two a long time later on).

As for renovation of the fireplace station as-is, there were being two estimates. If the town tried out to divvy it up among a quantity of lowest-bid contractor for the electrical, plumbing, mechanical and so on, the cost was approximated at $1,412,000. For an “all-in-a single” common contractor, which would make coordination easier and avert prospective issues involving contractors, the charge was a tiny higher, $1,545,000.

As for the existing point out of 9,065 sq.-foot fireplace station No. 2 (it was No. 9 till the 2017 renumbering of stations), the building, which received an interior renovations in 1989 and 2002 as very well as roof substitute in 2013, needs a lot of perform. The HVAC procedure is worn out and some of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing have to have to be totally replaced. The skylights are leaking and in have to have of replacement. The creating wastes a large amount of energy, currently being worn out and constructed in the late 1960s when strength efficiency was not a sizzling matter. But the most important concern appears to be that humidity has penetrated the exterior concrete and masonry and has achieved interior ceilings and walls. The problems there, by now considerable, might be worse than the report could reveal, as they did not penetrate walls to glimpse at the entire wall procedure. In small, it can be not in horrible form at a look, but it can be not in fantastic form possibly.

What this all boils down to is that it allows guide the solutions in the RFEI. To rapidly rehash, the choices for respondents are 1) Develop a new 11,000 sqaure foot fire station nearby and buy the internet site, of which the value paid would probable be adjustable offered the cost of building the new station 2) having to pay the renovation fees of $1.5 million+ and acquiring the air legal rights to include on to an adjacent home, and 3) incorporating a new fireplace station into a redevelopment of the web page, and there are hearth stations with housing more than them.

Of those, possibility two could glimpse a small significantly less probably than it as soon as did the only web site with an energetic developer is the aged Nines web page owned by Novarr and Proujansky. It was mentioned at the very last Setting up Board meeting they had been dialing back again on their Collegetown Innovation District because of to a lukewarm response from neighborhood inhabitants and officers, and focusing on just a person of the pupil housing web sites for now.

Armed with extra information and facts, intrigued functions have a couple of extra weeks to make a decision whether or not or not they want to put forth a proposal for the metropolis to contemplate – the window for submissions closes at 3 PM on April 5th.