City of Poughkeepsie Releases Applicant Submissions for Former YMCA site, Appoints Advisory Committee
The City of Poughkeepsie has released the applicant submissions it has received regarding possible future uses of the former YMCA property on Montgomery Street.
The city will hold a public information session at a later date to receive input about the plans from residents. The city also has appointed an advisory committee that includes members of the public to review the applications and make recommendations to the administration.
Dutchess County Legislator Barbara Jeter Jackson of the City of Poughkeepsie will chair the committee, which also will include Common Council member Sarah Salem of the Second Ward, where the former YMCA is located. Other members of the committee are city residents Tamoya Norwood, Sashawna Isaacs and Arthur T. Rollin; Paul Calogerakis, the city’s economic development director; and John Penney, the city’s community engagement director.
“I’m looking forward to hearing the committee’s recommendations – and also eager to hear what the public at large has to say about these ideas,” said City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison.
Earlier this year, the city took ownership of the property as part of its anti-blight initiative. It then released a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the property, with the goal of soliciting ideas for future uses of the property that will yield significant community benefit.
Here is a summary of the submissions:
The 35 Montgomery Community Coalition – which includes Community Matters 2, Inc., DAY ONE Early Childhood Learning Community, Dutchess Community College, Dutchess County, MASS Design Group, Nuvance Health, Poughkeepsie Farm Project, Poughkeepsie Public Library District, Vassar College, and YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County – is proposing a multi-use facility that would provide services connected to their respective missions in the community.
“Our proposal re-establishes the former YMCA site as a community and recreation resource that can be a safe, structured and horizon expanding space for Poughkeepsie’s youth and families,” the coalition wrote in a submission sent by Chris Kroner, principal of MASS Design Group.
“More than just a building, our proposal and the coalition behind it represent a comprehensive, cross-sector commitment to giving Poughkeepsie’s children the best possible start in life.”
Andrew Gori and Ambre Kelly, co-founders of The They Co., are proposing to establish a Poughkeepsie Museum of Contemporary Art. “Our 9 year history in revitalizing New York City and Los Angeles spaces and boroughs gives us great excitement to do the same in our hometown of Poughkeepsie, while also including a sensitivity to community retention that could serve as a model for future towns.”
Christopher Bledsoe, aquatic consultant at Swimming Past the Boundaries, is proposing The Swimming Past the Boundaries Aquatic Center (SPBAC), a 22,000-square-foot indoor aquatic facility that would “provide an asset to the immediate surrounding community and Dutchess County as a whole.”
Artist Carolyn Hutchings Edlund is proposing an Art Museum. “The newly available YMCA property would make an outstanding museum location having already the bones of the structure, parking, and surrounding parkland in which to display sculptures, host out-of-doors performing arts events.”
The submission date for ideas was Thursday Sept. 5.
During this process, the city held two well-attended meetings and then answered dozens of questions the public posed at those meetings. The city also presented to the public a video showing extensive damage to the inside of the building that has been vacant for about a decade.
The prevailing view at the public meetings was that the former YMCA site should be used again for youth activities in some respect. Residents have suggested everything from an indoor sports center arena to a place for employment and job-training programs.
To see the submissions go to: http://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/archives/7675
To see suggested solutions offered during the public meetings go to http://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/35montgomerystreet