Tarrytown Rising

You can look in any direction these days and see the beginning of a new landscape for the Village of Tarrytown. And nothing could be more dramatic than the skyline for the Sleepy Hollow High School.

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Top: Construction 101 at Sleepy Hollow High School
Second: Route 119 new firehouse
Third: Current storage for Tarrytown’s second ladder truck company on Hitachi property
Fourth: Construction of Consolidated Engine’s firehouse on Meadow Street, one quarter of a mile from other new firehouse on Route 119
Bottom: Current garage for Consolidated firetruck

River Journal was treated to a guided tour of the new facility by Superintendent Howard Smith who explained that final construction for several major High School projects will be heading toward completion early next year with still other projects running through 2008/09. Washington Irving changes will be completed in the summer of 2010. Of the $72.2 million dollar budget approved by referendum, some $62 million will be applied to finish all of the original plans in their entirety for new classrooms, a new gym and a new auditorium for the High School. The remaining $10 million will be applied to Washington Irving and now with the State "EXCEL" budget of $800,000 being approved by the May 15 vote, this new amount will also be added to the WI budget, restoring even more of the original planning that had to be changed to meet cost restraints.

In another location, the new Tarrytown Village Hall Building, Police Station and Justice Court across from the train station is starting to take shape with the sinking of steel piers or piles into the old parking lot grounds, beginning construction that is to be completed during the summer ’08. Two hundred fourteen pilings have been driven down to bedrock at a depth, in many cases, of 85 ft. The reason that pilings had to be put in was to secure a foundation in an area where the water table next to the river is approximately 6 feet deep. The total cost for the project will be $8.5 million dollars. Roughly one half of the existing commuter parking will be permanently used for construction with the remaining half split between the existing lot and the large parking area on the west side of the railroad tracks adjacent to the river.

During the summer, an addition will be made to the Tarrytown Senior Center, and what is known as the Aquatic Center, a large public swimming pool along with a cafeteria, will also be built by developer National RE/Sources. Further, Wilson Park’s "Findings" document will be completed shortly and "Jardim East" in the South end of town will eventually begin development of 20 new homes. One must add to this list, "Riverwalk," the Westchester County project for walking and viewing the Hudson on an extended pathway through several riverside towns. And who can ignore the coming giant called the "Tappan Zee" bridge project.

For those that are Fire Department volunteers, buffs, or live in proximity to our new fire stations, both are now underway, with the 155 Old White Plains Rd. station (about 200 yards up from Stop and Shop) already quite far along. Construction of the Meadow Street location is similarly progressing. Like most towns and villages, many citizens were intensely interested in the outcome for each of these locations, while still others, even those that work next door to the White Plains Road address, still have no idea that they are about to hear sirens in their neighborhood come this Fall. The argument that the two stations are too close together has not totally subsided and will probably be with us well into the years ahead. Total costs for both are now estimated at $4.74 million dollars.

The final major project, the Ferry Landings development on the Hudson River, has cleared the land for building to begin. The transformation of that land into houses and parks will be hard to imagine until that project is totally completed and the last tree is planted. Until that date, it is a good bet that Monday morning quarterbacking will begin when the first shovel hits the ground. But if it ends up looking like the proposed plans the citizenry was shown, it will be worth the wait and the concern the Village put into the project.

One thing is certain, many familiar Village landscapes will never again be the same. It is almost as if a bell rang and construction equipment rolled into Tarrytown. The fact is that not all citizens, regardless of where they live in the U.S., are included so directly in such a major piece of their own history.

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About the Author: Arnold Thiesfeldt