Work is be­gin­ning on the $9.4 mil­lion project at Uni­ver­sal Preser­va­tion Hall

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Lau­ren Hal­li­gan lhal­li­[email protected]­i­tal­first­media. com re­porter


>> Con­struc­tion is un­der­way at Uni­ver­sal Preser­va­tion Hall, as the or­ga­ni­za­tion an­nounces the pub­lic phase of its on­go­ing cap­i­tal cam­paign.

“We’re keep­ing our prom­ise to Saratoga to­day,” Uni­ver­sal Preser­va­tion Hall cam­paign di­rec­tor Teddy Foster said on Thurs­day morn­ing dur­ing a press con­fer­ence out­side the former Methodist church on Wash­ing­ton Street.

“We’re mak­ing good on a prom­ise that we made to you in 2003,” she con­tin­ued. “That’s when we be­came a non­profit and that’s when we said we were go­ing to bring a year-round cul­tural cen­ter to down­town Saratoga Springs.”

With the cap­i­tal cam­paign aim­ing to raise $5.5 mil­lion, Foster proudly an­nounced that con­struc­tion on the $9.4 mil­lion project is un­der­way.

“I know it’s taken a lit­tle bit of time, but good things

“I know it’s taken a lit­tle bit of time, but good things come to those who wait.” — Uni­ver­sal Preser­va­tion Hall cam­paign di­rec­tor Teddy Foster

come to those who wait,” she said, adding that the end prod­uct will be spec­tac­u­lar. “When we are fin­ished in the spring of 2020 and these doors re­open, you will have the plea­sure of grac­ing a flex­i­ble, state of the art 700-seat the­aterin-the-round,” Foster said.

In ad­di­tion to the the­ater in the Great Hall, a com­mu­nity room and a mod­ern glass atrium will be part of the project upon com­ple­tion.

With a fo­cus on mu­sic, UPH is ex­pected to also host the­atre, dance and other per­form­ing arts while serv­ing as a pub­lic space for pre­sen­ta­tions, wed­dings, fundrais­ers and com­mu­nity events. “The sky is the limit,” Foster said.

To kick off this phase of the cap­i­tal cam­paign Saratoga County Pros­per­ity Part­ner­ship Pres­i­dent Marty Vanags pre­sented UPH with a check for $26,250, which rep­re­sents a re­bate of its fees for pro­cess­ing UPH’s suc­cess­ful in­cen­tive ap­pli­ca­tion through the Saratoga County In­dus­trial Devel­op­ment Agency.

“We’re very ex­cited about what’s go­ing to hap­pen here on Wash­ing­ton Street,” Vanags said at the press con­fer­ence, pre­dict­ing that it will be a boost for eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis con­ducted by the Cap­i­tal District Re­gional Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, the un­der­tak­ing will gen­er­ate a $6 mil­lion im­pact dur­ing its first year, in­clud­ing at least 30 con­struc­tion jobs.

Sub­se­quently, the an­nual op­er­a­tions of UPH, through a com­bi­na­tion of di­rect and in­di­rect em­ploy­ment, will cre­ate 22 full-time equiv­a­lent jobs. Its an­nual im­pact on the lo­cal econ­omy will ex­ceed $2 mil­lion, and the fa­cil­ity will serve an es­ti­mated 65,000 vis­i­tors per year at­tend­ing more than 200 events.

Other im­por­tant funds for the project came from Em­pire State Devel­op­ment grants. ESD agreed to pro­vide $800,000 as rec­om­mended by the Cap­i­tal Re­gion Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Coun­cil; and an ad­di­tional $750,000 to­ward con­struc­tion, through a Re­store New York award to the City of Saratoga Springs.

“With its unique ar­chi­tec­ture, rich his­tory and mod­ern up­grades un­der­way, Uni­ver­sal Preser­va­tion Hall will com­ple­ment the vi­brant arts and cul­ture of down­town Saratoga Springs and trans­form a once-con­demned build­ing into a com­mu­nity des­ti­na­tion,” Em­pire State Devel­op­ment pres­i­dent, CEO and com­mis­sioner Howard Zem­sky said in a state­ment.

An­other ma­jor project part­ner is Proc­tors Col­lab­o­ra­tive. CEO Philip Mor­ris - who be­lieves UPH will be­come a hub for art, en­ter­tain­ment, and con­ver­sa­tion - spoke of the project’s abil­ity to “make things hap­pen in a col­lab­o­ra­tive way” that will shape the fu­ture of the Cap­i­tal Re­gion.

“This is go­ing to be an amaz­ing ad­di­tion to our com­mu­nity,” said Sonny Bona­cio of Bona­cio Con­struc­tion, which is do­ing the work at the site.

“It’s ex­cit­ing to see this build­ing come alive,” added Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly. “This will be the cat­a­lyst of ex­cite­ment for our res­i­dents, for our vis­i­tors.”

The mayor noted that not ev­ery his­toric build­ing in the city has a happy end­ing, how­ever, she said, “This one def­i­nitely will be a gem.”


Con­struc­tion is now un­der­way at Uni­ver­sal Preser­va­tion Hall in Saratoga Springs.


Con­struc­tion is now un­der­way at Uni­ver­sal Preser­va­tion Hall in Saratoga Springs.


Saratoga County Pros­per­ity Part­ner­ship pres­i­dent Marty Vanags, left. presents a check to Uni­ver­sal Preser­va­tion Hall to kick off the pub­lic phase of its on­go­ing cap­i­tal cam­paign.


Uni­ver­sal Preser­va­tion Hall is lo­cated at 25 Wash­ing­ton St. in Saratoga Springs.

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