Coming from a family of educators, I always embrace the opportunity to set foot in Irondequoit’s schools and am always amazed by the creativity that our children of all ages exhibit. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Eastridge High for a presentation of student projects as part of the Project Lead the Way program. This pre-engineering program is offered by Eastridge and allows students to earn dual credit with RIT.
This year, the program challenged students to come up with a comprehensive vision of how they felt Irondequoit Mall should be redeveloped and present a full-scale design. I visited approximately 15 student teams, all of whom presented detailed architectural renderings and concept plans for Skyview on the Ridge.
From a stylistic point of view, the designs were very impressive, comparable to the renderings I often see for proposed development projects. The concepts for the redevelopment included everything from the world’s biggest aquarium to a large indoor sports complex, to a spa resort area. There were a few bowling alleys sprinkled in there, as well.
I was pleased, however, that the most popular suggestion for redeveloping the former mall was to create some sort of community space. My approval does not necessarily stem from the fact that we have proposed a similar use for a portion of the property. Rather, it was very refreshing to hear the teens describe their rationale for such a use, which came in the form of statements like: “the people need a place to come together” and “teenagers would like to go there to hang out.” Some referenced how they had often heard their parents talk about the former-Mall and wanted the opportunity to share the experience of going there.
As we went through the process over the past 18 months of determining what elements of a community recreation center would best satisfy the needs of all residents, it became clear that this amenity could allow the Town to better serve our teenagers. We have built a Recreation Department that thrives on serving our older residents, as well as our children and families. We cannot let our teenagers get lost in the equation.
On behalf of the Town, I would like to congratulate these students on a job well done. Furthermore, I offer my best wishes to the hundreds of Irondequoit students on their recent graduation and wish the all the best in their future endeavors.
Shifting gears, as we do every month, at the June Town Board Workshop meeting, we recognized Filomena Amedeo with our Staff Spotlight Award.
Filomena is an integral part of the Irondequoit Police Department’s civilian staff and serves with distinction as the Office Manager for Records. Well done, Filomena.