PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Port Chester is moving forward with exploring a proposed Municipal Center that would house a police station, courts, Village Hall and some retail space.
The village has worked with the National Development Council (NDC) and the architectural firm STV to come up with a tentative design for the Municipal Center.
The envisioned building would be four stories tall and likely located at the corner of Irving Avenue and Poningo Street. The village has contracted the NDC to conduct a $30,000 feasibility study to see whether the structure would work in the village, and determine how much it could cost.
"The village has a severe deficit as it relates to the functionality of the police and courts building, among other elements within the village. So the idea here is really to take a more in-depth look at the space needs of the village and understand what is within the realm of possibility," said Michael Cucchiara of the NDC. "The village's facilities are deteriorating at a certain rate, and at some point the village will have to come to terms with the fact that some of these structures need to be replaced sooner rather than later."
Members of the village Board of Trustees have been pushing to explore the Municipal Center for some time, as the building that houses the police station and courts has been in need of major renovations. The village spent about $330,000 on repairs in 2013, according to Village Manager Chris Steers.
"The working environment and the working conditions are a concern as well. We just got through the process of dealing with a complaint that we had to work through with the Department of Labor, environmental concerns that took about eight months to work through and cost us about $330,000 to do the repairs," Steers said.
The village conducted a study a few years ago and looked at locations for a new police station and court house. The study looked at four locations, and determined that the Irving Avenue and Poningo Street area was the best.
"At the end of the day doing that site just for the court and police station was not sustainable," Steers said. "And I think that's why we took this next step and direction, to see what would be sustainable."
Cucchiara said that one of the hopes is that the Municipal Center could help revitalize the local economy and build up the downtown area.
"We were sort of given the task of looking at it from the perspective of an economic development project, thinking about it in those terms, understanding it can be more than just a space to house police and courts, but it can really have a transformative effect on the village itself."
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