girlsschool castle

The fate of the Lansing Residential Center (LRC), colloquially called 'the Girl's School', is tied to a rosier future for Lansing's Town Center according to an update to the Planning Board Monday by Lansing Town Director of Planning C.J. Randall. Randall said that the Town is in the early stages of deciding whether it would be prudent to take over a sewage treatment (package) plant that currently serves LRC and Finger Lakes Residential Center (FLRC - also known as the 'boy's school'). She said that exploration by some parties of taking over the LRC may bring other benefits to the Town and other interested parties.

"We've been speaking with the New York State Office of General Services about the potential for the Town to take ownership of the waste water treatment facility that is at the Lansing Residential Center, as well as the possible conveyance of the Lansing Residential Center to TST BOCES, which has a lot of interest in that as a possible new campus for them. We're trying to help facilitate that and get a sense of what the full buildout could be if the (Town Center) area could be sewered," Randall said.

towncenter20200624So far the 153 acre Lansing Town Center land is the site of Milton Meadows and the new Salt Point Brewing Company brewery and restaurant is under construction.

Randall also noted that Heorot Power, which owns the now-closed power plant property, has applied for an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant to bring data fiber lines to bring high speed internet access to convert that property into a major data center. She said that opens the possibility for better Internet access for the Town Center area as well.

"Tompkins County Area Development did apply on behalf of a Hereot Power to the ARC Power 2020 grants, to bring a dark fiber line -- an open access line -- from approximately where the Guthrie Clinic is in Dryden, past the airport and by the Lansing Town Center."

LRC closed its doors in 2013 as part of a state-wide initiative to house largely downstate juvenile offenders to facilities closer to their families. In 2014 the Town of Lansing was a key contender to obtain the approximately 24 acres and its several buildings (click here for story), but before town officials could determine whether it would be feasible financially and in terms of repairs and maintenance, the State withdrew the property, which has remained empty ever since. According to Randall, the NYS Office of General Services is now interested in conveying the property, which includes a sewer package plant currently serving both LRC and the FLRC next door. If the Town were to take over the sewer facility it could potentially be used to create a new sewer district on the Town Center land adjacent to the FLRC.
girlsschool gymandpoolThe Lansing Residential Center includes a gymnasium and pool that could potentially be used by The town Recreation Department
girlsschool gym

Randall said that if the state does convey the LRC property to TST BOCES there are numerous possibilities for other organizations including the Town's Parks and Rec department to use some of the facilities. Typically the department has had trouble obtaining gym space for its basketball programs, because the school gyms are in high demand.

"There has been some interest expressed by Parks and Recreation to be able to have access to the gymnasium and the pool that's onsite at the Lansing Residential Center," Randall said. "I think TST BOCES is probably the most interested party, at this point, in taking over the entire 24 acre parcel. But we could have an agreement with them, to be able to use those buildings as well. So there's a lot of flexibility and the Library has some interest as well. That's still a moving target."

If the package plant were conveyed to the Town and the rest of the LRC property to BOCES, there would have to be memorandums of understanding and/or contracts with FLRC to continue to use the sewer facility and to be able to continue to use the pool. But those are details that would be worked out if the very preliminary consideration of the idea is actually realized.

The wastewater treatment facility would require an employee or employees to maintain it, which would be an expense for the Town that might be covered by developers and nearby residents signing on for sewer service. In the past town officials have considered hiring a consulting company to maintain the plant if the Town were to acquire it. Planning Board members said the rest of the LRC facility is likely to be a 'money-pit' because of the potential cost of bringing the buildings up to code.

Randall also reported that she applied for and won a $31,000 Park Foundation grant to cover the cost of stormwater and traffic impact studies of the Town Center land that she said will make the property more 'shovel ready' to help attract potential developers. She said she is also enlisting student help in preparing design guidelines for the Town Center, and said a first draft would be ready for Planning Board members to review at their next working meeting.