Monday, April 28, 2008

The Great Carnegie Library

While I can't talk about school board issues on this blog I hope people will go to this link : Carnegie article, and read the story on the Carnegie Library. Thanks to the Kingston School Board under the leadership of Jim Shaughnessy and Robert Mann, the restoration of this great building is moving forward. I'm proud that Mr. Shaughnessy and Mr. McCoy and other board members that ran on the restoration of the Carnegie library are following through on their promises.

I attended the first meeting last year when Mr.Mann made his pitch to the Board of Ed. and it was considered a long shot, because of the dedication of this community to restore our historic buildings, that long shot is now becoming a reality.

The work of the Kingston School Board, Assemblyman Cahill, Mayor Sottile and Robert Mann to restore this great building really is a great example of how beneficial a public-private partnership can be.


Anonymous said...

Can someone explain why a building with less than 4000 square feet is worth this kind of multi-million dollar investment. Let's compare the cost of renovating the building per square foot to the cost of renovating the Kirkland or renovating City Hall before we jump into this and spend millions.

Perhaps those candidates for the board who support this proposal could come up with some numbers on the cost per square foot.

In an ideal world, the building would not have been allowed to deteriorate as it did. In an ideal world, we could save every historical structure. We do not live in an ideal world.

The district will say the renovation comes at zero cost to the local tax-payer. Lets remember that the grant money and state aid is still tax money and the proposal is that it be used to renovate less than 4000 square feet of space.

Luckily the district will need voter approval for the work and the public will have the opportunity to decide if the investment is worth while. Do not assume this is a done deal until the public speaks.

As to Hoffay suggesting that the district include a high school museum, I wonder if he has been inside the building since he was a child or whether he has seen the current floorplans and usage proposal. At the end of the day, there isn't room for what is currently proposed, no less a museum.

Anonymous said...

So 9:47, what are you suggesting? That we allow it to deteriorate further so that it will cost more, or to raze it?

Anonymous said...

Sell it to a private developer with covenants regarding use or transfer it to Robert Mann and let him seek grants on his own without state education/school district involvement.

The district never should have taken title to the building in the first place, particularly after the fire, unless there was a specific plan for usage and renovation/upkeep.

At this point, we should get the building out of the hands of a taxing entity which would use public dollars earmarked for education to renovate a building that has minimal use to the public and even less use to the district.

A private developer could renovate the building with 25% of the red-tape and 25% of the cost. When government builds or renovates, state regulations drive up costs far beyond value.

If the public wants the district to make space for a technology center,and is willing to financially support such a center, 2.5 million can secure much more space than 4000 square feet.

While preserving and recognizing history should certainly be a priority, the school district should not be confused for a historical preservation agency.