Renovation of the third floor of Southampton Village Hall has been put on hold until the village can secure a tenant for the space, officials have confirmed.
Village Administrator Stephen Funsch said last week that renovations on the second floor of Village Hall are underway. However, since renovation costs for the third floor will most likely be paid by the renter, construction cannot begin until there is one. According to Mr. Funsch, the village has talked to a few possible tenants—most notably the Peconic Public Broadcasting radio station and a pair of locals hoping to convert the space into a media studio—but nothing has been finalized.
The third-floor renovations are part of a larger renovation project for Village Hall being paid for with a $500,000 bond also used to refurbish the Lake Agawam memorial last year. The project will revitalize both of the roughly 3,100-square-foot floors and once again bring life to the upstairs portion of Village Hall, where government offices are on the first floor. An elevator is also being installed to make the building handicapped accessible.
The second floor will be home to the village Building Department, which is currently on Hill Street. That level of Village Hall see new drywall on all walls as well as new carpeting. It will be divided into several offices, a conference room, computer and telephone center and a customer service area. The fate of the third floor is still up for debate. According to Village Mayor Mark Epley, both the radio station and the media studio would be viable options for the space, and it is possible that they may share the third floor.
One option, according to Mr. Funsch, would be for the radio station to use the space for its administrative offices. A second option, which was presented to the Southampton Town Board last week to garner support, is for Southampton Multi-Media to create a multi-media facility. Run by Francesco Rulli and Alan Roberts McFarland, the facility would be a media hub, Mr. Funsch said. The goal would be to broadcast educational and local events through the hub, which also would provide a space for broadcast and media personnel to work when doing broadcasts and media projects focusing on the East End.
“Our focus right now is really going to be getting the Building Department on the second floor,” Mr. Epley said. “For the third floor, they are different types of services that each would provide for the community, but the two groups can actually end up complimenting each other.”