Second time's the charm for the Village of Pleasantville's former .
At Monday's board meeting, trustees unanimously voted to award a $128,595 bid to Peter Camilli & Sons, a Pleasantville company, to renovate the building for use by the Recreation Department.
"We have been working for probably a year or so trying to come up with an affordable plan to convert the garage bays into a multipurpose room, use the center area—the former office and meeting room area—as the offices," Mayor Peter Scherer explained, "and improve the bathrooms and bring them up to code and also improve the kitchen facility."
The village owns the building that PVAC occupied for more than 50 years before moving to a larger space in Thornwood and has been looking to convert it into a usable space for the Recreation Department for some time.
The department currently operates out of the third floor of (office space only).
, a first round of bids on the building came back higher than anticipated (approximately $300,000), forcing the village to cut back on its expectations for the renovations—including the addition of bathrooms that can be accessed from the outside for users and a concession stand.
"That was more than we were willing to spend," Scherer said.
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In addition to the base bid accepted by the board, George Rosamond of Lothrop Associates asked the board to consider shelling out an additional $10,200 to upgrade the ceiling and lighting in the future activity room.
Trustee Mindy Berard was vocally supportive of the plans, pointing out the Recreation Department can bring in additional revenue if it has the space to offer more programs, such as cooking classes for kids and adults.
"When we lost our rec center, we essentially lost the ability to run a good amount of programs," she said, referring to the Bedford Road structure that is currently up for sale. "The rec department is a revenue-generating department."
Trustee Jonathan Cunningham added, "We seriously need to look at the old rec center...I am going to kick myself if we go another year with that not on the tax rolls."
Scherer said there are two potential buyers interested in the property "going through some due diligence right now."
The mayor shared that the department head provided the board with a list of potential programs that could be implemented at the new center, including daycare available after camp and day camps during school vacations.
He also said the multipurpose room could be rented out for events such as kids' birthday parties.
With the additional revenue, Scherer said he is "pretty confident we can accomplish this with a net positive effect."
Village Administrator Patricia Dwyer said she estimates a six-month turnaround on the project.
Berard and Trustee Colleen Griffin Wagner, who emphasized the importance of a recreation center during her campaign this year, also said a community space brings residents together.
"The location of where this building is is wonderful," said Griffin Wagner. "I think this is a win-win for everybody."