BATAVIA – The site plan for a $ 30 million healthy living downtown campus has the blessing of the city’s planning and development committee, but not unanimously.
The committee approved the 3-1 site plan tonight, with committee member David Beatty voting against. Ed Flynn, Rebecca Cohen and John Ognibene voted for it. The project, a partnership of the YMCA and Rochester-Regional Health-United Memorial Medical Center, will include a new state-of-the-art wellness center, indoor pool, group exercise studios and a gymnasium with a walking / running track. indoor foot, teaching kitchen, indoor play area, youth areas, lounge and meeting rooms. The partnership with UMMC will provide primary care, behavioral health services / crisis intervention, integration of telemedicine, cancer prevention services, chronic disease support services and education services , all in the same establishment. The facility would include a 69,420 square foot two-story building to house the YMCA with medical offices. The site is located at 211 and 213 East Main St., 1-9 Wiard St. and is part of 211 1/2 East Main Rear.
“We didn’t add any additional walls or trees or anything like that,” said project manager David Ciurzynski of Ciurzynski Consulting, LLC. After the meeting, Ciurzynski said his company made sure there were enough bushes and trees along the west and south sides of GO ART! as a buffer.
During the meeting, the committee received a letter from GO ART! in which GO ART! Executive director Gregory Hallock referred to a landscaping plan, Beatty said. The plan came from architectural, engineering and planning firm Clark Patterson Lee.
“It would be nice if the committee actually saw this plan. “I’ve never seen this shot,” Beatty said. “This is a plan that was presented to Mr. Hallock. I understand he has a different landscaping plan and a different parking plan.
Ciurzynski said this plan is much more elaborate than his company’s one.
“We are not going forward with this for budgetary reasons,” he said. “The plan you have is the plan we are moving forward with. What we’ve shown is within our budget and what we can do, and has proper buffering on the back (of GO ART!). While I understand that he (Hallock) may desire something more, it is technically not his property. We have to be the best possible neighbors, but we also have to manage our budget. “
When asked if what Hallock saw of Clark Patterson Lee was an initial plan, Ciurzynski replied that they had discussed a bunch of concepts, but nothing that was really a plan.
“We never came up with this plan because we looked at the concepts and priced it and it just wasn’t doable,” Ciurzynski said.
In a public hearing at the previous Planning and Development Committee meeting on August 17, residents raised concerns about access to the campus through Summit Street. The committee recommended removing the entrance / exit from Summit Street.
Tonight Ciurzynski said access from that street has been removed from the sitemap.
“Now that we have the sitemap (approval) there is speed to come,” he said after the meeting. Ciurzynski hopes to have the construction documents completed later this fall and start demolishing Cary Hall before the end of 2021. The goal is to begin construction in earnest in the spring of 2022.
“It’s going to take about 20 months to get it all through – a little over a year and a half, minimum,” he said.
Traffic will arrive on Bank Street, head towards Washington Avenue. When traffic leaves campus, it will exit onto Washington Avenue and then either Bank Street or Summit Street back to Main Street, he said.
As for voting against approving the sitemap, Beatty said project developers are missing an opportunity to better develop the entire site.
“The parking lots in general … they are a bit outdated in a way. We have a changing society and changing demographics. People drive less, ”he said. “I think it’s a key building going up here in Batavia, a key building on Main Street. I think they’re missing out on an opportunity to really develop what they call a campus. You still have a building and a parking lot. I think it could have been a lot more, if they had thought of the whole site.
Beatty said GO ART! was a critical component and those responsible for the project compromised with GO ART !, but did not go far enough.
The committee also noted this evening that the project would not have a significant negative impact on the environment.