By Stephen Williams
Plans to move a children’s physical therapy and wellness center into the former Capital Region Maritime Center in Alplaus will go forward.
On Dec. 20, the Glenville Town Board approved a zoning change that will allow Happy Rehab at the Maritime Center to be established at the former school, which sits on a bluff overlooking the Mohawk River.
The board’s action comes two weeks after a public hearing, at which all speakers spoke favorably of the plan proposed by physical therapist Karen Dake, who bought the building last year.
The 10,000-square-foot center was formerly a Capital Region BOCES school that taught boat-building and marine trade skills to at-risk students, but it closed for financial reasons in 2011. The building has been vacant since 2012.
Dake bought the building at the end of Maritime Center Drive about a year ago and has been pursuing the zoning change needed to build a physical therapy center at the location.
The 6.2-acre site was zoned “riverfront/recreation commercial” and “land conservation.” Under the new zoning, the parcel becomes a planned development district tailored to Dake’s plans.
The town’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the zoning change in August.
“Now she can get on with doing what she likes to do, rather than filing paperwork with the town,” said Councilman James Martin.
Dake’s business, which was previously MINOR Improvements in Saratoga Springs, works with children and teens who have physical disabilities, including cerebral palsy. The business attracted clients from much of upstate New York.
Allowed uses under the new zoning include pediatric health and wellness spaces, a therapy gym, a yoga studio and a therapeutic pool, while outside activities can now include a handicapped-accessible playground, a hiking trail and a bike training/running/walking path.
Dake will still have to go to the Planning and Zoning Commission for site plan approval before her center can open.
The former Maritime Center was built in the late 1990s as part of an initiative to revitalize the Erie Canal corridor. The boathouses for the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Shenendehowa high school rowing club are also located on the property.
Reach Daily Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, swilliams
@dailygazette.net or @gazettesteve