A much needed new, 35,000 square foot building near Arkville (Delaware County Rt. 38) will house 70 employees from both the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.

A groundbreaking event signaled the start of construction on the $19 million project, and ushered in a new phase in the partnership between the City agency responsible for operating, protecting and maintaining the vast New York City water system, and the nonprofit corporation that administers several water quality protection programs in the Catskill-Delaware Watershed where most of the City’s water originates.

CWC will own the office complex, and DEP will lease space for up to 44 employees. The arrangement will improve communication between the two organizations and provide a one-stop shop for residents and businesses who are affected by watershed regulations and eligible for benefits and assistance programs. The new building will also allow DEP to vacate a number of temporary office trailers while moving some employees to a location that is more geographically central to its work in the watershed.

 

The two-story building, designed by Keystone Associates, Architects, Engineers and Surveyors LLC of Binghamton, is configured with two wings connected by a common lobby. One side will accommodate 27 offices allocated to CWC, and the other will house DEP offices. At least 26 DEP employees will be assigned to the Arkville location when it opens in 2020, with an additional 14-20 City employees moving into the building by the year 2026. The building will include employees from DEP’s tree task force, regulatory program, water supply operations, and the department’s bureau that oversees large water-supply construction projects.

 

The building will also include 144-seat auditorium and a 700-square-foot exhibition area to be occupied by the Water Discovery Center (WDC). This will be accessed through a separate entrance enabling it to be utilized for meetings, conferences, and public and school programming. The Discovery Center will be designed and managed by the non-profit WDC organization that also plans to develop a nature trail on 33 acres behind the building stretching to the East Branch of the Delaware River.

 

A kitchen and dining area, several small conference rooms and an outdoor courtyard are planned. There will be parking for 144 cars and two buses. A 2,263-square-foot garage will house DEP vehicles and equipment. Site work on the 8-acre parcel will begin in early October by Smith Site Development of Binghamton. Construction is estimated to take 14 months, with the building expected to be occupied in early 2020.