From September 13 – 16, residents of the Fishkill community participated in an intensive multi-day planning and design exercise. The goal of this process, the Glenham Mills Charrette, was to bring together community members to generate a cohesive vision for the future of Glenham Mills. Over the course of the 4 days, over 150 stakeholders including students from Beacon High School got the opportunity to share their hopes and dreams for the 153-acre property that was once home to the Texaco Beacon Research Center.
Day 1 of the Charrette Event began with a series of technical presentation by the consulting team including the environment, infrastructure, physical attributes and marketing trends. Then residents split into groups to discuss the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the Glenham Mills area.
Day 2 consisted of a visit to Beacon High School, where seniors from the Participation in Government (PIG) class did a table top exercise where they discussed potential land uses and developmental potential for Glenham Mills. The students were not shy about their creative ideas to enhance the area they call home. Not surprisingly, some of ideas suggested were a teen center, skatepark and burger joints. But students were also expressive about their desire for open space, senior centers and thriving business that will generate jobs for local residents.
Similar to the high school students, on Day 3 of the Charrette Event residents did a table top exercise exploring land use options and prototypes. In small groups, they shared their desire for open space, residential, commercial and office space on area maps. And earlier in the day, several residents had a special opportunity to tour the site to get a feel for opportunities in the area.
The Charrette Event concluded on Day 4 with a recap, inspiring case studies of redevelopment projects and a modeling exercise. Keeping in mind the ideas that were shared in the previous days, residents used three-dimensional building models to indicate where new structures might go including streets, bridges, community parks and squares.
So what is next? In October the consulting team will hold an internal charrette to develop a series of land reuse alternatives built upon the ideas from the public and keeping in mind the economic and environmental factors which go into the feasibility of development on the site. The working group will meet again and then a public forum will be held before the holidays to share the land reuse options.
Chevron was excited to bring together the communities of Fishkill and Beacon to host the Charrette. Although future uses and timing of any future developing of the former Texaco Beacon Research Center is currently being evaluated Chevron is committed to remediate the site to regulatory standards and continue with land use planning in a way that is creative, collaborative and economically viable.