Supervisor's Column

Blueprint for a Community Center to be Based on Community Input

Week of November 20, 2017

 Seeley Headshot
David A. Seeley
 Town of Irondequoit
 1280 Titus Avenue
 Rochester, New York 14617
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Two months ago, I was proud to join the owner of the former-Irondequoit Mall, as he unveiled plans to redevelop the 1-million square foot property into a business park, rebranded as Skyview on the Ridge. At that time, I announced that the Town had been offered a significant portion of the mall – approximately 50,000 square feet - to be constructed into a community center. Plainly, it was an offer too good to refuse, and I pledged to move forward with assessing the feasibility of such an endeavor.

It has long been the dream of residents, town officials and civic leaders to build a true community center for the people of Irondequoit. Many of our neighboring suburbs have their own large community recreation center; others have a YMCA-style facility; some have both! However, it’s an amenity the people of Irondequoit have never had to call our own.

I often joke about the binders of studies, architect’s renderings and many plans that sit in my office, commissioned by the Town at various points in time over the past three decades. Each contains a blueprint or concept for a new community center for the Town of Irondequoit. For various reasons, however, these plans were never executed. Nevertheless, they now serve as motivation for future action!

I am confident we now have an opportunity to construct a true community center. Such a facility could meet many needs for our community: our growing demand for recreational programming; our aging population that desires to remain active; a gathering place for our residents. Most importantly, I am confident we can do so in a manner that is economically feasible, especially given we have an already-existing structure in good condition (yes, the former Mall is in still in great shape!).

It is my hope in the coming months to a develop a new blueprint to build a community center, one that we will be able to act upon and will provide a new resource for present and future generations of Irondequoit residents to enjoy. That process will require the participation of the entire community. To that effect, I have appointed a citizen advisory committee, made up of town residents, to work with our team at Town Hall to formulate a plan to act upon.

We want to hear from residents, and take that feedback to understand how a 50,000-square foot facility might meet the needs of the Irondequoit community. To that end, we will be holding a kickoff public workshop meeting on Thursday, November 30th at 6:30pm at the Irondequoit Library. All residents, young and old, are encouraged to attend. My only request is to be ready to share what you’d like to see at a community center. Working together, I’m confident we’ll develop a unified vision to act upon.

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