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Barricade Loosened Before Storm

ELMIRA, NY • May 11, 2010

The wooden barricade in front of the Armory that was blown down by wind gusts over the weekend fell because its braces had been loosened, City Manager John Burin said Monday.

Workers involved in the deconstruction of the Armory loosened the braces as they left the work site Friday in preparation for allowing access this week for equipment into that space on East Church Street.

"It was unfortunate," he told Elmira City Council.

Saturday's incident has not otherwise affected the project, Burin said: "They're right on schedule as to where they said they would be, as far as the deconstruction goes."

The barricade was erected to close the sidewalk in front of the Armory after part of the building's facade collapsed in 2006.

In other business Monday:

* The council authorized applying for a state grant of up to $15,000 to explore how the historic Brand Park Memorial Pool structure could be reused.

"I don't know just what we can do to restore the pool, what capacity it can be used in, but I certainly hope that the City Council will do everything possible to see that it is preserved," Mark Delgrosso, a member of the city's Historic Preservation Commission, said before the vote.

Harold Watts, chairman of the Brand Park Beautification Committee, said the group supports the study. Two prior studies of the historic landmark, done in 1995 and 2000, found it would cost more than $1 million to restore the pool, he said.

"I know we can't afford that," he said. "Let's get the study done, find out what we can do."

Kaye Newbury, president of Historic Elmira Inc., also supported the grant application.

"It will be a real benefit to this community and go a long way to make sure the pool is saved," she said. "Not as a pool, perhaps, but to save the architectural character of that pool, to save the character of Brand Park and to look for ways for adaptive reuse of the pool."

* Burin told the council that work will begin in about a week on the Washington Avenue reconstruction project between Walnut and Davis streets.

Businesses along that stretch will remain open during construction, he said. Completion is expected in early July.

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Historic Elmira, Inc.
PO Box 252, Elmira, NY 14902