Funds sought to revitalize CCE building

The Cornell Cooperative Extension building in Westport

The Cornell Cooperative Extension building in Westport

— Essex County Cornell Cooperative Extension officials are looking to update their current home.

Anita Deming of CCE said that there was a capital campaign being started to help raise funds for the building, which is located at the corner of Main and Sisco Streets in Westport on the Essex County fairgrounds.

Deming said the capital campaign was only part of the funding component.

“It is a county building, but of course Cooperative Extension, Soil and Water and the Fair are the ones the primarily benefit from the use of that building,” Deming told Essex County Supervisors May 14. “We are all going in together to try and raise $250,000 from private funds and then to match that from $250,000 Historic Preservation, which Mike Mascarenas is helping us with and additional dollars from NYSERTA for some of the energy efficiency things we need, and additional grant application to Community Development Block Grant Alan Hipps has agreed to apply for that for some of the handicap accessible issues.”

Deming outlined what would be done in the project.

“A solid foundation is first, and Carl Schroder is giving us what the specs have to be for that,” Deming said. “There is a lot of rotted wood in there and things like that and it would also include the flashing for the roof because that is not high enough at this point in time. The restrooms of course, we don’t have a handicap accessible restroom on the first floor so that’s kind of not good. We don’t have one anywhere and the possibility of a lift is one of the things that we’re trying to get so people could go upstairs if they were in a wheelchair.

“The windows are pretty old, so we want to get some energy efficient windows, storm windows at least so that we can keep the heat in there,” Deming continued. “Our heating and lighting is slowly being replaced as things totally die, but we thought if we do it all together all at once it may be more efficient. Finally we’re going to basically have to take all of the porches and porticos all those pretty things, the cupola are all going to have to be redone.”

Deming presented supervisors with a brochure that will soon be going out countywide seeking donations.

“That’s our plan and we would really appreciate if you know anybody that you would like to send me to or you would like me to come with you to go and visit that might be an angel donor,” Deming said. We are looking for names of people that would care about saving that building which is really, really pretty.”

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