Mayor Ben Walsh at his State of the City speech Thursday gave updates on a number of projects and plans rolled out over the last few years.
Here’s a rundown of the ongoing projects he covered:
- Construction is expected to begin this year at the STEAM school (science, technology, engineering, arts and technology), located in Syracuse’s former Central High School. Plans have been delayed for several years. Walsh said curriculum is now under development for the school, architects are working on conceptual designs, and a construction manager has been selected. The first class could start in September 2025, according to Walsh.
- The Joint Schools Construction Board will wrap up its second phase of renovations this year, including projects at all of the city high schools and eight elementary and middle schools. The school district spent $34 million on upgrades at Corcoran and plans to spend another $30 million at the school. During the third phase of construction, the JSCB plans to spend $300 million on upgrades at 10 city schools.
- Eighty-four units of housing have been built or are currently under construction through Walsh’s Resurgent Neighborhoods Initiative, which he announced at his 2020 State of the City address. Another 24 sites are “shovel ready” that could see construction in 2022 and 2023.
- Under the Resurgent Neighborhoods Initiative, the city has also demolished 130 dilapidated buildings over the last three years and plans to demolish 80 more.
- The city created a Lead Hazard Reduction Office in September. The office has initiated cases at or inspected nearly 500 properties, Walsh said.
- The city will begin demolition of the former Syracuse Developmental Center in 2023 and start a community engagement process to finalize its design plans.
- A revised final ordinance for ReZone Syracuse will be presented to the Planning Commission and Common Council in February. The process to update the city’s zoning codes started in 2015 and is the first attempt at an update since the 1960s. Walsh touted the potential for the city’s first affordable housing requirements, new citywide design standards and a streamlined development review process.
- In 2023, the city will be replacing its old paper timekeeping records with a fully electronic timekeeping system. New York State’s Financial Restructuring Board gave the city $2 million in 2020 to update the system.
Read more about the 2023 State of the City
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