Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Downtown Potsdams and Clarkson's Revitalization Plan


Through an adaptive reuse of Damon Hall, Snell Hall and Congdon Hall on Clarkson University’s historic downtown campus in Potsdam, N.Y., the proposed plan aims to bring nearly $37 million in investment, more than 100 jobs, and tax revenue to the Village of Potsdam. The Plan envisions the development of a living, working, and learning community that retains and attracts residents, businesses, students, and visitors that want to be part of a place where nature and culture reinforce one another. The Plan envisions a mixed-use environment of commercial, institutional and residential uses which characterize a vibrant downtown.

The Potsdam Downtown & Waterfront Revitalization Plan represents the Village’s commitment to preserve and enhance its natural, cultural, and economic resources. The vision for the Potsdam Downtown & Waterfront Revitalization Plan is to provide a future that balances the preservation of community character and natural resources with economic development. As an institution with a symbiotic relationship with the Village of Potsdam for more than 120 years, Clarkson University fully concurs with the Governor’s vision to invest in downtowns as the bellwether for attracting and keeping the next generation of New Yorkers who will lead our economy.

Through renovations to vacant properties known as Damon Hall, Snell Hall and Congdon Hall on the downtown campus, the current proposed project is an adaptive reuse of these former science laboratories, dormitories, administrative offices and classrooms to add more needed incubator space and an Innovators Colony that will further attract entrepreneurs and innovators to the region, and retain more of the talent that graduates from our regional universities. With $4.9 million investment in a whitewater park and additional downtown amenities, the village will become a live, work, play destination for the knowledge workers of the 21st century.

Rich with economic, environmental, academic, historical, and cultural resources, Potsdam’s landscape represents the melding of the natural and built environments. The Village seeks to celebrate these resources through a host of collaborative initiatives, including events, marketing strategies and, or capitalization programs that directly or indirectly highlight the importance of the Raquette River and historic downtown. Building upon Potsdam’s assets will require social, political, and financial capital. New investments in waterfront resources, infrastructure, programs, and marketing will require careful deliberation and thoughtful budgeting. Grants, sponsorships, and volunteerism will be essential. Potsdam has a long history of executing such initiatives and is up to the task. Revitalization of the Village of Potsdam’s downtown and Raquette River waterfront means sustained and sustainable economic growth, an enhanced quality of life for its residents through improved services, programs, and amenities, increased tourism, strong partnerships with local institutions and business, environmental stewardship, and a pervasive can-do, collaborative attitude that is shared throughout the community. If awarded, Clarkson and J.R. Weston’s would subcontract project oversight, control, and management of the proposed Whitewater Park to the Village of Potsdam


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