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CWC, DEP Break Ground for Building in Delaware County

Mon October 15, 2018 - Northeast Edition #21
New York City Department of Environmental

CWC and DEP hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new office complex located in Delaware County.
CWC and DEP hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new office complex located in Delaware County.

The Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) and New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for a 35,000-sq.-ft. building near Arkville that will house a total of more than 70 employees from both agencies. The new office complex is located on Delaware County Route 38.

The event signaled the start of construction on the $19 million project, and ushered in a new phase in the partnership between the city agency responsible for operating, protecting and maintaining the vast New York City water system, and the nonprofit corporation that administers several water quality protection programs in the Catskill-Delaware Watershed where most of the city's water originates.

CWC will own the office complex, and DEP will lease space for up to 44 employees. The arrangement will improve communication between the two organizations and provide a one-stop shop for residents and businesses who are affected by watershed regulations and eligible for benefits and assistance programs. The new building also will allow DEP to vacate a number of temporary office trailers while moving some employees to a location that is more geographically central to its work in the watershed.

“We see this as a new chapter in the evolution of our role as advocates for watershed people,” said Michael Triolo, president of the CWC Board of Directors. “Having our staff a few steps away from DEP staff will help us provide more timely information to people and hopefully expedite projects to benefit our communities.”

“The shared office complex in Delaware County will greatly improve the efficiency of many programs that are run by DEP and our invaluable partners at the Catskill Watershed Corporation,” said Vincent Sapienza, DEP commissioner. “Watershed residents will benefit from the co-location of our respective employees, which will allow them to troubleshoot wastewater, stormwater and other projects more quickly. The new office also will provide a more permanent location for DEP employees who have worked for years in temporary trailers, and a more central location for our engineers and planners who work in the heart of the watershed on a daily basis. We look forward to calling Arkville home in 2020.”

The two-story building, designed by Keystone Associates, is configured with two wings connected by a common lobby. One side will accommodate 27 offices allocated to CWC, and the other will house DEP offices. At least 26 DEP employees will be assigned to the Arkville location when it opens in 2020, with an additional 14 to 20 city employees moving into the building by the year 2026. The building will include employees from DEP's tree taskforce, regulatory program, water supply operations and the department's bureau that oversees large water-supply construction projects.

The building also will include a 144-seat auditorium and a 700-sq.-ft. exhibition area to be occupied by the Water Discovery Center (WDC). This will be accessed through a separate entrance enabling it to be utilized for meetings, conferences, and public and school programming. The Discovery Center will be designed and managed by the non-profit WDC organization that also plans to develop a nature trail on 33 acres behind the building stretching to the East Branch of the Delaware River.

A kitchen and dining area, several small conference rooms and an outdoor courtyard are planned. There will be parking for 144 cars and two buses. A 2,263-sq.-ft. garage will house DEP vehicles and equipment. Site work on the 8-acre parcel will begin in October by Smith Site Development of Binghamton. Construction is estimated to take 14 months, with the building expected to be occupied in early 2020. The General Contractor is F. E. Jones Construction of Binghamton.

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