LAKE PLACID — The Adirondack Mountain Club is now better prepared financially to begin renovations to the ADK Visitor Center after receiving a federal grant of more than $300,000 on Wednesday.
The Northern Boundary Regional Commission’s $4.1 million grant package also allocated $350,000 to Historic Saranac Lake to rehabilitate the historic Trudeau Building and $675,452 to Paul Smith’s College for building improvements. its wastewater and potable water systems.
ADK’s $303,960 grant from NBRC’s State Economic Development and Infrastructure Fund will kickstart a $380,195 renovation project at the former Cascade Ski Resort. ADK communications director Ben Brosseau said the grant will help the club install a lighting system along its ski runs, improve wayfinding and other signage for the network of center trails and installing fiber optics in the building. Brosseau said that this project and the grant received by ADK are only one element of a financing “puzzle” that the club sails to support all its renovation projects.
Brosseau said ADK hopes to find at least $3 million in funding for renovations to the center, and the club has raised about a third of that so far.
ADK received several grants for the hospitality center, including the $500,000 state grant that helped the club purchase the $2.1 million property. The state Department of Environmental Conservation awarded ADK $47,000 earlier this year for hiking information stewards and portable restrooms at the center for the summer. ADK also sold its Lake George headquarters for $800,000 earlier this summer, and the club planned to use part of that sale to help pay for the welcome center.
This summer, Mr. Brosseau said that ADK took care of the renovation of the buildings and the preparation for the ski season. He said the club had recently obtained a side-by-side mower so they could start mowing the ski slopes and open the slopes to skiers by the end of October or early November.
ADK purchased Cascade in February with the intention of transforming the seasonal ski center into a year-round recreational and educational facility that would allow ADK to expand its classroom space and provide information to hikers while providing some skiing and snowshoeing experiences that Cascade was known for. ADK reopened the center as the Cascade Welcome Center in June.
Historic Saranac Lake
HSL is restoring the Trudeau Building on Main and Church Streets in Saranac Lake, a property purchased by HSL in 2019 with the intention of converting it into a museum. HSL executive director Amy Catania said the property downsizing is complete and once this grant is administered and approved, HSL expects to launch tenders for interior and exterior construction in early 2023.
HSL estimated that the project – between the purchase of the building, the construction and the installation of the exhibit – will cost approximately $5.2 million. Catania said Thursday that HSL has raised nearly $4.5 million between private donors, foundation grants, state grants, tax credit funding and the federal grant of $350,000.
Catania said HSL believes it has the funding it needs to pay for construction and exhibits, so HSL hopes to begin planning expansions for its museum exhibits at the Trudeau Building and its sister museum, the Trudeau Laboratory, this fall. She said HSL secured another grant to support this work, and HSL has a team of people, including historians and exhibit professionals, to plan museum exhibits for both buildings.
by Paul Smith
Dan Kelting, vice president for research and executive director of the PSC Adirondack Watershed Insititute, shared with the Enterprise excerpts from the application that Paul Smith’s College submitted for its $844,315 overhaul of wastewater systems and college drinking water. The plan for the project is to replace approximately 12,000 linear feet of sewer lines and water distribution lines, and the college ultimately received $675,452 from NBRC.
The main sanitary sewer and water distribution lines on campus were laid in 1946, as requested, and have passed their “Useful life of 50 years.” A visual inspection of sewer lines in 2019 revealed several near-misses along major lines running through campus to the college sewage treatment plant, according to the app. The college plans to replace the pipes with HDPE plastic pipes. The New York State Department of Health also inspected PSC’s drinking water distribution system and recommended that the college begin replacing those lines.
Improved lines will help the college budget “with more confidence” on demand, as unplanned infrastructure repairs often divert funds from college programs and other investments.
“This new infrastructure enhances the college’s foundational security as it can plan for the future without the threat that these vital systems could fail at any time,” the app reads.
Kelting said the college hopes to complete the project in the summer of 2023 while students are on a break, as it will involve “great excavations” across campus. He said once the college gets the green light from NBRC, the licensing and engineering design phases could begin later this year.