WATERTOWN — Jefferson County’s workforce development arm may join the YMCA in the former call center building on Arsenal Street.
The YMCA plans to purchase about 60,000 square feet of space in the former home of the Concentrix call center, 146 Arsenal St., for its community center, leaving 14,320 square feet still unclaimed. Out of curiosity and a desire for a larger office space, the Jefferson County Department of Employment and Training at the Workplace has considered relocating to the remaining space in the building, said Workplace director Cheryl A. Mayforth.
The available space at the former call center attracted Workplace officials because it offers more room than their current 8,940-square-foot office, located at 1000 Coffeen St., as well as its downtown location and proximity to one of its major partners, Jefferson County Social Services, which is located down the road, Mrs. Mayforth said. The organization’s consideration, however, is “very preliminary,” she said.
“Obviously, you can’t beat the parking down there,” she said.
The property owner, the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, has talked about the possibility of selling or leasing the space with the Workplace, and offered officials a tour of the facility Thursday.
Mrs. Mayforth, however, said they have not talked price, for the department still needs to consider the cost, how much space it would need, renovations and gaining approval from the Jefferson County Legislature.
“We were happy where we were. We have a wonderful landlord, which is Watertown Savings Bank. They have been very supportive,” Mrs. Mayforth said. “We’re just window shopping because we just walked by.”
The YMCA sent the JCIDA a letter of intent to purchase a large portion of the former call center, and the agency approved it Thursday. If the YMCA seals the deal, it plans to invest $16 million toward its community center, which will offer an aquatics center with a six-lane lap pool, a separate full-size recreational pool, a full-service wellness center, an arts and multipurpose room, two indoor tennis courts and a running and walking track.
Donald C. Alexander, CEO of the JCIDA’s sister agency, Jefferson County Local Development Corp., said although he has been in talks with both the Workplace and another “quasi government” agency, he believes the space the YMCA has not claimed only offers room for one organization.
“I think it would be an ideal location for the Workplace,” Mr. Alexander said.