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Sep 13, 2016 3:08 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Moving Social Services To CDCH Building Could Save East Hampton Millions

Sep 13, 2016 3:20 PM

East Hampton Town officials say that the town might be able to save millions of dollars on its plans for new senior center facilities by taking over the former Child Development Center of the Hamptons building, rather than redeveloping the existing Springs Fireplace Road facilities.

Supervisor Larry Cantwell said on Tuesday morning that an engineer the town hired to examine the shuttered school building estimated that renovating the 13-year-old structure to be used as a senior center and community facilities building would cost about $2.1 million.

The town is conducting an appraisal of the 22,000-square-foot school building and will begin discussions with the now shuttered school’s board of directors about a possible purchase.

Last spring town planners presented an analysis of the senior center’s needs that called for a new 17,500 square foot facility at the Springs-Fireplace Road site. On Tuesday, Mr. Cantwell said that the cost estimates for that approach ranged from $5.3 million to $6.2 million.

“[The school] has an appraisal, we’re going to get an appraisal, we’ll see if there’s a meeting of the minds,” Mr. Cantwell said.

The ample extra space in the CDCH building, officials said, could be used to give a home to other community programs, possibly including the East Hampton Food Pantry, which has been informed by Windmill Village housing complex that it must vacate its current home on Accabonac Road by the end of the year.

Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez said that the YMCA has also expressed interest in using space in the CDCH building for some of its programming should the town take it over.

Town Director of Human Services Diana Patrizio said that her department has 30 employees that work out of the senior center and a trailer on the property that support a wide variety of programs for seniors and youth and that the department and its programs have outgrown the current facilities.

“We could pretty much get what we need from this building,” Ms. Patrizio told the board, of the CDCH building, on Tuesday.

The location would be on a less busy street, making turning in and out of the property easier, but would also be farther from where most seniors in the town live.

Town Planner Eric Shantz said “the options are endless,” with the CDCH building because of its design, which makes changing interior layouts relatively easy. “It’s a great building,” he added.

The town owns the land off Stephen Hands Path that the school building stands on, and had been leasing it to the school. It is part of about 35 acres owned by the town, which has also been discussed as a possible location for a satellite emergency medical center planned by Southampton Hospital. The hospital is also looking at a collection of ballfields, also owned by the town, on Pantigo Road that could be relocated to the Stephen Hands Path property if the hospital chooses the site, Mr. Cantwell said.

“There’s a lot of space here,” he said. “In a longer term planning vision this site could be a multi-use center and recreational facility. I think some of these things fit together reasonably well.”

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I think moving to the old CDCH building is an excellent idea!
By Rich Morey (363), East Hampton on Sep 14, 16 3:58 PM
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