City Panel OKs Chautauqua Center Site Plan

The demolition of the old Artone building took place in April. The site plan for the The Chautauqua Center was approved by the city Planning Commission Tuesday. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

Because of unforeseen circumstances, the design of the new The Chautauqua Center will be more intricate than normal architectural plans.

On Tuesday the city Planning Commission met with representatives involved in the construction of the new medical facility that will be located along Institute Street where the former Artone furniture factory used to be located.

Joseph Dorobiala, Carmina Wood Morris architect, said in 2017, center officials purchased the former Artone building. When analysis of the building started, engineers found several structural issues that made the building unsafe for major renovations. So earlier this year, the structure was demolished to make way for a new building that will be located along the Chadakoin River.

With the former furniture factory now demolished, experts analyzed the soil and found that the ground is very soft, with bedrock 27 to 31 feet underground, Dorobiala said. So in order to construct the facility, piles that will be filled with concrete, along with other architectural essentials, will be installed to provide the building with a solid foundation.

Dorobiala said because of the architectural design necessary to construct the center, there will be ground-level parking, which will be below the medical facility. He said, along with an employee parking lot down the street, the medical center will have 217 parking spots, which is exactly how many they need for the building’s size.

“In all my years I’ve been on the Planning Commission, I don’t think I’ve heard such a challenging engineering plan,” said Jeff Nelson, city Planning Commission member.

Dorobiala said his architecture firm has also constructed a similar medical facility nearby because of the soft ground.

The building will be three stories and 80,000 square feet, Dorobiala said. Health care provided by the center will include primary care, an onsite pharmacy, dentistry and mental health.