Updated 02/13/2013 08:59 PM
After 95 years, Red Cross moves to modern facility
They're known for providing shelter for those in need and now the Tompkins County Red Cross gets a new home of its own. Tamara Lindstrom tells us about the move that comes after almost a century.
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TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. -- Tompkins County Red Cross volunteers and staff alike were eager to show off their new digs to the public at an open house Wednesday.
"It's a fresh start for the Red Cross," said Barry Stein, Community Chapter Executive for Tompkins and Cortland counties. "It's a beautiful setting, it's modern, it's airy. There's lots of light and we're very pleased to be in this central location."
It's a move that comes after 95 years in the same downtown Ithaca location: A historic Clinton Street home donated to the organization in 1917.
"It was at one time a grand old house," Stein said. "Unfortunately, it was impossible for the Red Cross to keep it up."
Through the years, the charity outgrew the aging house.
"Parking was a big challenge. The condition of the building was a big challenge. Just coming to work every day was a little depressing, I would say," Stein admits.
Challenges the contemporary facility off Triphammer Road have washed away. The new 2,000 square foot facility has a lot more room for training and disaster supply storage and of course room for more volunteers.
"We have about 150 right now," said Matt Michael, Regional Chief Communications Officer. "Of course, the other side of that is we can now accommodate some more volunteers and we'd like to have more sign up."
It's those volunteers, Michael says, that make the Red Cross work.
And while the charity moves to a modern new home, the members haven't forgotten where they came from. A photo of the Clinton Street building hangs in the lobby.
The former Red Cross facility on Clinton Street has been sold to a family that is restoring it to a single-family home. The sale of that house helped fund the move.
For more information, visit www.redcross.org.