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Main Street 56 Theater

April 1, 2021 - 2:53pm

In modern and jazz dance terms, the Batavia Players’ Main Street 56 Dance Company is just a “fan kick” away from the start of a new era at its new home at 35 City Centre.

Project Manager David Ciurzynski, of Ciurzynski Consulting LLC, of Attica, today said that the $417,000 award from the New York Main Street Anchor Grant Program to the Main Street 56 Theater and Dance Company project likely will allow the dance studio portion to open for business sometime in June.

“(The funding) is going to allow us to design and build a new façade on the front of the building so you won’t have that old ‘mall’ look, and it will also help us with the lobby space in the areas that we had cut back on our design to fit into our budget,” Ciurzynski said. “So, it really balances out the project and allows us to complete it properly.”

Ciurzynski said interior drawings are almost done and building permits for the dance studio have been received.

“People at the mall may have seen some activity there as we have put up the drywall and installed some doors for the dance studio,” he said. “With that being said, we’re hoping to have it open in June.”

As far as the theater is concerned, he said design development drawings are expected by the end of the week “so we can start looking at finalizing the budget for that, getting permit review and get that bid out.”

Ciurzynski said he anticipates the theater being complete by the end of the year.

The Batavia Players has hired Thompson Builds of Churchville as the general contractor.

The project is being funded by a state Downtown Revitalization Award of $701,750, the recent NY Main Street Anchor Grant and a fundraising campaign.

“Part of the budget is being covered by volunteer labor as well,” he said. “It’s getting easier because we have funding; work is getting done. This is a real thing now for people.”

Ciurzynski said his involvement in the project has opened his eyes to the Batavia Players’ contributions to the community.

“It has been just an honor to work for these people. I never realized how many children and how many families that they reach through their educational and dance programs,” he said. “These are programs that people will be able to use during the reduced school times for their art classes for school. It’s really a big benefit to have this right in the middle of our city.”

In related action, the Batavia Development Corp. Board of Directors this morning formally approved acceptance of the $417,000 grant, which is awarded through the Housing Trust Fund Corporation and the Office of Community Renewal, to rehabilitate 14,000 square feet of vacant space for the theater.

Healthy Living Campus Update

Ciurzynski is representing Rochester Regional Health and the GLOW YMCA on the development of the Healthy Living Campus in Downtown Batavia – a $22.5 million project funded by a $4 million DRI award, $7.5 million grant from the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program II and a local fundraising campaign.

He said the project is at the design development stage, which means that the submittal of site plans to county and city planning boards isn’t too far away.

“We need to make sure we have all the funding sources in place … and also the material pricing and availability,” he offered, adding that he hopes that work will be bid out and some construction will start this fall. “We will try to balance that all out with the market, which is extremely difficult right now to do on a large project like that. Steel and copper pricing is unstable right now, and we just have to make sure that we can minimize its effect on our project.”

Ciurzynski said the plan is to take down Cary Hall on East Main Street, construct a new building and move the current YMCA operation into it.

“After that, we’ll take down the old Y,” he said. “It’s a good 12 to 15 months’ worth of construction for the new Y. If we start late this year, it will be late 2022 or early 2023 before that building comes down.”

He also said he would like to see the Office for the Aging (which is attached to the current YMCA) be a part of the Healthy Living Campus.

“We’re in talks with the Office for the Aging but right now the plan is to keep it where it is. That’s a work in progress. We would have to develop a plan to separate the building, and put in new utilities to make sure it is operational,” he said.

“The hope would be that we could find a way to incorporate them into the overall campus and save people money and be able to provide the same services and make the buildings work all at the same time.”

Calling it a “dynamic process” due to the fact that the venture includes two nonprofit organizations and the City of Batavia, Ciurzynski said it will take “time, patience and understanding to bring all the parts and pieces together.”

“But when we’re done, it is going to be a very transformational program in the center of our city that will provide much for health care and wellness for youth and seniors,” he said.

Previous: Healthy Living Campus consultant: Access to services at forefront of large-scale Batavia projects

September 12, 2020 - 8:39am

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The performers are patiently waiting in the wings as, slowly but surely, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative project known as Main Street 56 Theater moves forward.

Project Manager David Ciurzynski of Ciurzynski Consulting LLC, of Attica, on Friday said the preliminary design work has been delayed by the coronavirus but, if everything breaks right, the theater will be able to open its doors to the public next summer.

“We’re trying to finalize the design that got held up a bit because of the COVID-19 requirements – (as we’re) looking to design it in a way that is flexible for social distancing,” Ciurzynski said. “And we’re also still looking for people for financing – to solidify that.”

He said the demolition work is almost done.

“The area is pretty cleared out, and ready to build,” he said, noting that the 11,000-square-foot facility will feature a dance studio, theater that seats 150, offices and storage rooms.

It will be located at 35 City Centre -- in space formerly used by the Dent Neurological Clinic office, between Genesee Dental and The Insurance Center.

Ciurzynski said that Batavia Players, the not-for-profit organization operating the theater, has hired Thompson Builds of Churchville as the general contractor. Thompson Builds has done extensive work in Genesee County, including construction of a new Town of Batavia firehall off Clinton Street that is happening now.

“We’re going to start, hopefully, in a couple months on the dance studio and then the theater after that,” Ciurzynski said. “We are waiting on some of our first reimbursements from the DRI for the work that we’ve done so far – we have to wait for the Department of State on that. But, hopefully, in the next month or so, we’ll be able to get some money from the state so we can keep things moving.”

He said the timetable has “the meat” of construction taking place in late winter and early spring.

“We’re trying to get through all of the pandemic requirements and making sure we have space for social distancing, and it’s a kind of reimburse-as-you go-along with the Department of State,” he offered.

The project is one of several awarded to the City of Batavia as part of the state’s $10 million DRI.

Since the total project cost is estimated at $910,000 and the DRI award for the theater is $701,750, fundraising will come into play, Ciurzynski said.

“Batavia Players will have to raise the difference, and will have to rely on the community to help them with that,” Ciurzynski said, advising that various fundraising efforts are underway.

Patrick Burk, president of Batavia Players, said the troupe is in the process of closing down its current location at the Batavia Industrial Center on Harvester Avenue.

“We will be reopening a new office and bringing in a bunch of new volunteers to assist state and local government officials on the project,” he said.

Batavia Development Corporation Director Andrew Maguire said the theater project aligns with the city’s “All In” effort which, in part, focuses on fostering arts and entertainment and cultural appreciation Downtown.

Renderings provided by David Ciurzynski, Ciurzynski Consulting LLC.

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