Kingston to convert City Hall & Neighborhood Center to fossil fuel-free

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Kingston City Hall

KINGSTON – The City of Kingston has received $1.8 million in grant funding from the New York State Energy Research Agency’s Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development program to convert City Hall and the Andy Murphy Neighborhood Center into fossil fuel-free buildings.

The funding will allow the two historic buildings to become clean energy hubs and achieve carbon neutrality by using solar, heat pumps, and a thermal energy network. The funding will allow for more solar power and EV charging on-site, and the installation of stormwater and thermal infrastructure.

Once completed, there will be no systems using fossil fuels, and both buildings will have highly efficient envelopes. The upgrades to City Hall and the neighborhood center will also improve their resiliency from climate impacts such as heat waves, severe storms, flooding, and power outages.

“This grant is one of the largest the City of Kingston has received and will be the largest influx of funding to make our historic City Hall and Midtown Center less polluting, more resilient, and become some of the first municipal buildings in New York State to get off of fossil fuels by decarbonizing the energy sources,” said Mayor Steven Noble.

The total project cost is expected to be approximately $3.26 million. The city will seek additional funding opportunities. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2025.

Kingston City Hall opened in 1875, was renovated in the late 1990s, and has recently undergone significant energy efficiency upgrades. In 2019, 145 storm window inserts were installed to improve overall envelope performance, and the lighting system was completely overhauled with LED replacements.

The Andy Murphy Neighborhood Center was built in 1874 as an armory for New York State. Today the building housed municipal offices and serves as a gathering place for youth programs with a gymnasium for sports, and as an emergency shelter during catastrophic events.

The lighting system at the neighborhood center was upgraded in 2019, cutting electricity use in half. This year, the city further invested in the building by installing a solar array on the roof that will generate more electricity annually than the building alone uses. Additionally, a kitchen renovation is underway, which includes all-electric commercial-grade appliances, used to cook hundreds of meals a week for low income and senior residents.