(UPDATE 9:15 a.m. Feb. 12) — Due to inclement weather, the meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday evening has been rescheduled to Wednesday. Details adjusted in the story below. This story was originally published Feb. 6.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Local residents are invited to take part in the first community engagement session for the redevelopment of the Immaculate Conception site, which was recently purchased by Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services.

The meeting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, 301 W. Court St., Ithaca.

INHS plans to redevelop the property at 320 W. Buffalo St. into a “vibrant mixed-use community, designed to address high-priority community needs.” Initial plans include affordable rental housing for a range of household sizes and income levels, INHS says.

The Immaculate Conception School shuttered in 2017 due to decreasing enrollment. The property was owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester and what to do with the site was discussed locally for months. In January, INHS announced it had purchased the property.

In addition to the planned housing, the convent building will be restored for Catholic Charities and there will be “space for nonprofit and community-based organizations that serve children and families,” INHS said in a news release.

“We are thrilled to have been selected to reimagine this historical property, and we encourage the community to join us during these meetings. Our goal from the beginning has been to involve the community, and allow them to play a pivotal role in what this property becomes. It’s important that it evolves into something the city can be proud of, and that meets the diverse needs of the neighborhood and city. This will happen with input from the public,” INHS Executive Director Johanna Anderson said in a news release.

The meeting planned Tuesday is the first engagement opportunity for the community to provide feedback on initial site concepts and community needs. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. with a chance to view the site background and history and will be followed by a presentation of initial concepts at 5:30 p.m. The community forum will begin at 6 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.

The second community engagement session is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28 at GIAC. And at least one additional community meeting will be held.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.