Updated 09/24/2012 07:01 PM
Renovations on historic landmark moving forward
The former New York State Inebriate Asylum is about to get a makeover. The historic castle is being repurposed into a medical campus for SUNY Upstate Medical University. Our Melissa Kakareka has more on what lies ahead for the facility.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- The former New York State Inebriate Asylum has sat vacant on the grounds of the Greater Binghamton Health Center since the early 1990s. But on Monday, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo announced that the renovation of the historic landmark is about to begin.
Funding was first secured for the project back in 2008, but the project has faced delays over the past four years.
"The economy dropped out and SUNY systems was unable to fund all projects in pipeline. So for the last four years, I have gone out of my way to emphasize not only the historic preservation, but the need for medical jobs," said Lupardo.
John G. Waite Associates has now been named as the architectural firm in charge of the restoration. The project is expected to take about three years and will be completed in two phases. The first phase will focus on the exterior of the building.
"The whole exterior of the building will be cleaned, repointed, the windows redone so they meet 21st century energy standards. The roof is gonna be repaired, even hopefully the turrets will be put back," said Jack Waite, architect with John G. Waite Associates.
SUNY Upstate Medical University plans to repurpose the facility as a satellite campus in the Southern Tier. It will allow the university to do things such as increase class sizes, expand its Physician’s Assistant program and create residency opportunities.
Those involved with the project say when it is done it will be a major step forward in addressing the healthcare needs of the Southern Tier.
"We want New Yorkers taking care of New Yorkers and this is precisely what this facility is going to allow us to do. It's timing is perfect because we are in the middle of the Affordable Care Act. It's relevance is even more important than four years ago because now we are going to have more access, an aging population and we don't have enough doctors in the region," said SUNY Upstate Medical University President David Smith.
And it will save an historic landmark at the same time.