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Carpenter's Barn looks for new inhabitants

The passing of Memorial Day brought about the unofficial start to summer and the end of the Cazenovia Rowing Club's residence in Carpenter's Barn. Now that the historic building at 1 Forman St. is unoccupied, suggestions for potential uses are now being solicited by the Carpenter's Barn Committee.

At the June 6 village board meeting, Cazenovia resident Teresa Godiers spoke to the village board and members of the public, regarding future development of Carpenter's Barn. As a member of the Cazenovia Rowing Club and Chair of the Architecture and Interior Design department at Onondaga Community College, Godiers turned her vested interest into a creative assignment for her architecture students.

"The students designed a broad range of innovative solutions to the challenging problem of reusing an historical structure for use by the Cazenovia community." Godiers said. "The students were required to create a design that could accommodate the Rowing Club while maintaining the building's historical integrity."

Two OCC students presented their plans to the board members and general public. Each design included space for an indoor training area, restrooms and storage for the club's rowing shells of varying size.

A total of $460,965 has been made available for the Carpenter's Barn restoration project. A $250,000 Strategic Investment Program grant, $133,965 Environmental Protection Fund grant, $11,000 donation from the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation and $33,000 of in-kind contributions from the village will supply the funds needed to rehabilitate and restore the structure.

"So far the boathouse idea is the only one that has been explored to this extent. I really liked the way several of the drawings showed potential mixed uses for the building, such as providing a sheltered area for the youth recreation program and open areas that could be used by the community for meetings or social gatherings," said Village Trustee Amy Mann. "This is very much in line with the vision that the Carpenter's Barn committee has discussed in our meetings to date. We encourage continued submission of thoughts and ideas. This is a very exciting start."

Later in the meeting, a unanimous decision was reached by board members approving a bond of up to $425,000 to pay architectural and preservation planning firm, Crawford & Sterns, for restoration of Carpenter's Barn. The village is required to pay the fee up front, then receive reimbursement from the grants.

The OCC architecture student Carpenter's Barn conceptual drawings are now available for view in the Cazenovia Public Library. Crawford & Sterns will look to begin research and development in the coming months.

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