Thursday, December 20, 2012

Best Year End Gift Ever!

View, has received a large donation to its Moving Mountains campaign for debt retirement, which will allow it to retain the property at 3260 State Route 28 that housed the arts center for nearly 40 years. The restricted gift is for $365, 000 and is pledged over a five year period. The benefactors are a couple who have been long-time supporters of View, and they wish to remain anonymous.

According to Jennifer Potter Hayes, View’s Executive Director, the gift agreement allows View to retain the deed to the property and use it for mission related activities. It is hoped that by placing the property back in productive use, it will generate additional revenue for View.

The original concept for an Arts and Sciences complex on Route 28 in Old Forge included the use of the former Arts Center property in its plan. However, in early 2011, the Board of Directors of View reluctantly decided to list the property in its ongoing effort to pay down its debt. As discussions commenced with the donor in mid-2012, the Board decided not to renew its listing, but kept a For Sale by Owner sign on the property, which has now come down.

“This generous and creative gift allows View to retain this property and over time develop  it in a way that is compatible with our mission, at the same time freeing up funds to be used to pay down our mortgage,” says View Board President Helene McAleese.  “It honors the original visionaries of this project, while assuring future generations of the best and highest use of this site. We are indebted to our benefactors for their foresight,” she said.

Over the years, the donors, View Board members and staff, and community members have mentioned possible uses for all or part of this property, including a laboratory for Environmental Sciences, café and workshop space, wellness center, and senior activities center, among others. Over time, these ideas will be vetted for feasibility and compatibility with the mission of View. Community input will be welcomed.

“In the meantime,” says Potter Hayes, “we plan to spruce up the building facade and grounds in the spring, and continue to use the site for storage and overflow parking, as we contemplate the future.”

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