What Will The New City Hall Look Like Inside?

Below is a news release from the city. At the bottom are the images.

City of Saratoga Springs

Department of Public Works

Anthony “Skip” Scirocco, Commissioner of Public Works 


May 15, 2019518-587-3550 ext 2556 


Saratoga Springs DPW Releases City Hall Preliminary Renderings of City Hall Restoration and Renovation Project

Saratoga Springs, NY – In advance of a Design Review Commission (DRC) presentation on May 15, 2019 at 7 p.m., the Saratoga Springs Department of Public Works released preliminary renderings of the City Hall restoration and renovation project. The renderings include a view of the main hallway, entrance vestibule, and music hall, along with renderings of the new City Court hearing room and elevator. 


“The concept was to preserve historical elements as part of the project and to showcase public areas so that everyone in our community can enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the building,” said Public Works Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco. “At the same time it is important to update City Hall into a functional municipal building, with fifty years of desperately required building improvements and to plan for fifty years into the future.”


Following a lightning strike on August 17, 2018, which resulted in some fire and significant water damage to the south side of the circa 1871 building, the City Council immediately started the process to restore the damage. In consideration of  the 2013 state mandate to provide additional court facilities, the Council decided it was the appropriate time to renovate the entire building to make room for the courts needs. The City hired Architectural/Engineering Firm Clark Patterson Lee to design and provide professional services to the City.


The project includes the addition of an HVAC system, court offices, elevator (for ADA compliance) and additional public meeting spaces, along with IT and security enhancements. Building infrastructure improvements to the electrical, plumbing, heating, along with sound attenuation are also planned. Professional construction estimates put the renovation project at approximately ten million dollars. A majority of this cost can be attributed to building changes that are a result of adding additional court facilities. Funding for the project will come from the city’s capital budget program and a portion from insurance reimbursement.


The DRC meeting is an opportunity for DPW to obtain valuable feedback on the project from DRC members, the Preservation Foundation, and members of the public.


“We’ve included many suggestions from these groups and individuals thus far and will continue to do so, this is an important project and quality feedback ensures that we get the best possible outcome for the public,” said Scirocco.


The project is in an extended bid phase which will last through to June. Asbestos abatement is ongoing as additional asbestos has been identified in the historic building. The project schedule has been adjusted for partial completion by the end of 2019, with final completion in early 2020 based on the outcome of the bid process.


Saratoga County Women’s Republican Club Dinner to Feature Anti-union Speaker

Todd Kerner, Saratoga County Democratic Committee Chair, sent me the following flyer which announces that the Saratoga County Women’s Republican Club will have Rebecca Friedrichs as their guest speaker at their upcoming dinner. Friedrichs was the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case (Friedrichs v. California Teachers’ Association) that was the precursor to the case that prohibited public employee unions from collecting partial dues from employees who were covered by union contracts. Friedrichs was to be featured at a dinner put on by New Choice NY that, as noted in an earlier post, had been scheduled to be held at Panza’s until Panza’s decided not to host them.  I would note that New Choice was offering a free meal to those attending their dinner featuring Friedrichs. I’m wondering if the GOP women will be offering the same deal.

Public Presentation of Proposed Unified Development Ordinances On May 22

On Wednesday,May 22, the draft of the proposed Unified Development Ordinances (UDO) will be the subject of two presentations. From 12-2 the presentation will be at the Saratoga Springs Arts Center at 320 Broadway. From 5:30 to 7:30 the presentation will be at the Rec Center at 15 Vanderbilt.

The adopted UDO will have a profound effect on development in the city.

Opponents of Saratoga Springs Hospital’s Planned Expansion to Speak Out At Planning Board Meeting

According to a story in the May 14 edition of the Daily Gazette Newspaper, neighbors of the land where Saratoga  Hospital proposes to build medical offices plan to address the Planning Board this Thursday (May 16). While the Planning Board does not plan any action that evening, they will be reviewing a change in the zoning for the area.

The meeting will begin at 6:00 PM at the Recreation Center on Vanderbilt Avenue.

The story can be viewed here.


Update On City Center Parking Facility Project

In its May 10th edition, Saratoga Today reported on the progress of the City Center’s municipal parking structure.  

In a unanimous decision, the Saratoga Springs City Council agreed that designs for the structure should proceed. All designs will be presented to the Council  and the public for review as the process continues and final approval will rest with the City Council.  

The plan  currently going forward will be comprised of  “a municipal parking structure, the establishment of a public park at the southerly end of the parcel along Lake Avenue and where Flat Rock Spring once existed; the continuation of the park at the easterly side of the parcel along High Rock Avenue, which will connect Flat Rock Park to High Rock Park and include the Greenbelt trail, Downtown Connector, and the retention of outparcels for future development,” according to the article.

The construction of the parking structure could begin this summer.  The paper reports that the current plan is for about 600 parking spaces and the parking structure could be in operation by the summer of 2020.  200 spots on the current paved lot will be eliminated where the new structure will stand.

Panza’s Cancels Anti-Union Event

According to an email sent out by the New York State United Teachers (the teachers’ union), a group named New Choice NY had booked Panza’s Restaurant at its new location on South Broadway for a special dinner event. New Choice  NY is the deep pocketed oranization that is seeking to bust public sector unions in New York State and has sent representatives to the homes of union members asking them to drop their union membership. New Choice invited public employees who dropped their union membership to join them for a free dinner [JK: Not a bad perk] and the opportunity to meet Rebecca Friedrichs.  Ms. Friedrichs was the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case of Frierichs v. California Teachers Association. This case was the precursor to the Janus Case which ruled against public sector unions’ ability to collect  partial dues (agency fees) from non-members who were covered by a union negotiated contract..  There was a possibility that Mark Janus might also be featured at the event.

The two cases were a blow to public employee unions nationally as it made it illegal to require that in union shops, all employees, whether members of a union or not, were required to pay a portion of union dues.

According to NYSUT, the event was booked at Panza’s under a private individual’s name.  Panza’sRestaurant was unaware of the true sponsor of the event.  When Mr. Panza learned about what the reservation was actually for he contacted the New Choice NY representative listed on the invitation and informed her that he could not accommodate them.

It is important to note that I have not spoken to Mr. Panza and have no knowledge beyond the above regarding Mr. Panza’s actions.