2017-04-26 / Community

Constitution Island Association Ready to Unveil Education Center

Constitution Island
By Douglas Cunningham

The new Education Center on Constitution Island is almost finished. Relations between the Association and West Point are now friendly and running smoothly. 
Photo Provided The new Education Center on Constitution Island is almost finished. Relations between the Association and West Point are now friendly and running smoothly. Photo Provided After years of fitful progress, and even an outright prohibition from entering the property by Constitution Island’s owner, West Point, the Constitution Island Association is steaming ahead toward a full year of events.

The chairman of the board, Cold Spring’s Vincent Tamagna, reports that the board met recently for its quarterly session, elected two new board members and pushed ahead planning for the annual “Seafood Soiree” fundraiser to be held on the Island June 24. Perhaps most significantly, he reported that the Education Center is virtually finished and should be ready to unveil at the soiree. Tickets are available by phone, (845)- 265-2501, or at www.constitutionisland.org.

The Education Center is the first piece of a multistep process of repairing the historic Warner home. The family lived on the island from 1836-1915. Susan and Anna Warner, sisters and well-known writers in the 19th century, taught Bible classes to West Point cadets for 40 years on the island. Construction of the new center, Tamagna said, is exceptional. B&B Construction, of NYC, Albany and Iselin, NJ, was general contractor. One of its staff, Jeff Mason, is a Cold Spring resident.

The Education Center, built at a cost of $1.3 million, will house all of the mechanicals for the Warner home. Restoration of the Warner home, said by Tamagna to be urgently needed before it deteriorates further, would be $3 million more for the entire project.

The board also has elected two new directors, Bruce Taylor and John Greener. Taylor, a 37-year resident of Garrison until recently moving to New Hamburg, has served on several local boards including Putnam Highlands Audubon Society and Philipstown Recreation where he was instrumental in program development. Taylor also served for seven years as Vice President of the Garrison Fish and Game Club and is currently president of the Garrison Golf Association. His professional career includes 43 years as National Accounts Manager with American Packaging Corp and 12 years as President of JD Packaging.

John Greener, who has been a resident of Garrison since 1989, previously served on the boards of the Putnam History Museum in Cold Spring and the Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison. John currently serves on the board of and directs development for the SoHo Playhouse, Inc., a 501(c)3 theatre company based on VanDam Street in lower Manhattan. He is also a CPA; his practice advises businesses and their owners on a host of matters.

Tamagna also urged people, if they are interested in supporting the Warner Sisters’ legacy and Hudson River Valley history, to join the Constitution Island Association, now a century old. CIA's mission is to provide a rewarding educational and recreational experience through the commemoration and preservation of the historic, cultural and ecological treasure that is Constitution Island. If you would like to join the board, contribute or become an active member of the group please call Hilary Dyson, CIA manager, at (845) 265-2501.

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