Public input sought on Wescott project plans

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 6, 1999

A renovated Wescott Field is being touted as a community facility.

Friday, August 06, 1999

A renovated Wescott Field is being touted as a community facility. With that in mind, the community is being asked for its thoughts on the proposed project.

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A public meeting on the Wescott Field project will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the Ellis Middle School auditorium.

"We really want to know what the public thinks," said Amy Baskin, one of two school board members on the Wescott Field Committee.

Anyone and everyone is invited to attend the meeting.

Rochester architect David Kane and Wescott Field Committee members will on hand to present the project, then to field questions.

As it stands, designs call for a $4.2 million renovation and revival of Wescott Field. The intent of the project is to return the decaying facility to its former glory while making it a highly functional complex fit for use by the entire community.

Kane will come to the meeting armed with the first colored drawings of the renovation plans, which are the results of three years of work by the committee.

Baskin admitted the plans "are not going to change drastically," from here on out. She reiterated that there is no chance that a brand new facility will be built elsewhere, like the Cook Farm or the county fairgrounds.

But the public’s input could impact details of the current project.

"We want to know if we missed anything," Baskin said. "But there’s no way we can go back to the drawing board."

Baskin believes the project has already had ample public input. The Wescott Field Committee first convened with 30 members representing a cross-section of interests. Early on, the committee members were tasked with "talking to the folks in the community," Baskin said, "and listening to what they have to say.

"We feel we heard the community."

As the project took shape, the committee was pared into a smaller, more manageable task force.

On display Thursday will be the fruits of the committee’s labor.

Baskin said she doesn’t know how many people to expect at the meeting.

"We don’t know if it will be five or 100," she said. "But we’d like to accommodate a lot of people."

After the public meeting, the Wescott Field plans will go before the school board for approval on Aug. 18. If approved, the board will kick-off the project by initiating the community-wide fundraising campaign that will pay for the project.