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Town Wants Ideas for New Senior Center

Thu, 05/12/2022 - 12:13

Representatives from R2 Architecture will be in East Hampton Town next week to talk to residents about the new senior citizens center to be constructed off Abraham's Path in Amagansett. 

A joint venture between Ronnette Riley Architect of New York City and Bridgehampton and Ross Barney Architects of Chicago, the firm was chosen from around 15 that responded to a request for proposals for the center, which will replace the existing senior citizens center on Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton, a building that is more than 100 years old. 

The new center will be situated on seven acres acquired by the town last year. The property is part of a 14.3-acre, residentially zoned parcel adjacent to an undeveloped portion of the town-owned Terry King ball field complex.

Ms. Riley and Carol Ross Barney were among the firms' reprentaives who described their initial engagement efforts to the town board on Tuesday. All members of the community have been invited to participate in a virtual meeting on Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m. via Zoom. Preregistration is at bit.ly/3M7pR54. 

On Friday, May 20, the officials will meet at the existing senior citizens center with current users of the building and staff as well as representatives of the town's Human Services Department. The public has also been invited to a listening session in the main meeting room at Town Hall on May 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

The R2 team will tour the East Hampton Food Pantry and hold a virtual meeting with Hugh King, the town historian, to discuss historical architecture and other topics. 

R2 Architecture's previous work includes senior citizens and community centers, two dozen of which were listed during the presentation Tuesday. 

"Buildings are more successful when people feel they've been heard," Ms. Ross Barney said, so it is "critical for a designer to understand the community's values and aspirations."

Ryan Gann, who will lead the firm's community engagement, said he wants to ensure that "everyone is excited about this opportunity and feels some sense of ownership" in the new center.

Councilman David Lys suggested that the architects solicit opinion from high school students as well. 

"I love the idea," Mr. Gann said, calling it "future-proofing." 

Following the architects' initial meeting with the public, the town will distribute a survey that is to further inform the new center's design and features. Once R2 Architecture's officials have reviewed those data, they will present a schedule for the center's design, which will have several phases, Ms. Riley told the board. 

"It's great to see it finally getting started," Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said. "Site acquisition was a really important milestone we've passed. It's time to get started with the actual project being constructed."


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