CMH proposes demolishing building to create parking
Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Columbia Memorial Health will demolish its administrative services building at 30 Prospect Avenue in Hudson to create more employee parking. The proposal was presented to the planning board for the first time on March 9. The white three-story structure was built in 1971 and has met its life expectancy, is only 30 percent occupied and not energy efficient, said Tim Moot, an engineering consultant for the hospital. Eliminating the structure would create 50 parking spots, hopefully resulting in opening up on-street parking, Moot said. Planning board member Laura Margolis asked if the addition of 50 spaces would make a dent in the parking issues in the area around the hospital. Moot said he does not know how many staff members park on the street and he did not have evidence to show the new parking area would take cars off the street. Planning board member Larry Bowen said the proposition of tearing down a building to create a parking lot is bad planning. He said that while the building is not popular, it is one of the few mid-century structures in the city, and if properly cared for or restored, it could be lovely. Planning board chair Betsy Gramkow, who worked in the building for 12 years, disagreed. “It doesn’t even feel safe anymore, quite honestly,” she said. The board requested more information about who will benefit from the plan and why, the reason it is needed, landscaping, lighting and stormwater plans as well as a safe crosswalk plan. The board expects to open the public hearing on the project in April. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.