The New York Racing Association has hired a New York City-based architecture firm to design a new At the Rail clubhouse proposed for Saratoga Race Course.
SOSH Architects will oversee design, bid and construction administration services for the “possible development” of the building planned next to the existing clubhouse, NYRA officials said in a news release.
SOSH is known globally for its decades of work designing, planning and building large-scale hospital spaces, NYRA officials said. The firm, which has offices in New York City and Atlantic City, N.J., was selected through a request for proposals released by NYRA in February.
The clubhouse proposed in NYRA’s Saratoga Race Course Redevelopment Plan would be three stories and have hospitality venues for banquets, outdoor dining terraces and rentable suites. It would be located to the immediate west of the current clubhouse.
NYRA will be consulting on the project with Matt Hurff, a partner at Saratoga Springs-based Frost Hurff Architects, during “critical design stages” to ensure all historic preservation standards are met, officials said.
Hurff has worked on several major projects at the race track, including renovations to its historic pony barn and paddock mutuel building, construction of new dormitories, the Saratoga Walk of Fame and the clubhouse escalator.
Todd Shimkus, president of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, said he expects the new NYRA board — announced earlier this month — to engage the community in the project’s design. NYRA recently became a nonprofit after five years of state oversight.
On the topic of a New York City firm being hired to perform the design work in Saratoga Springs, Shimkus said, “We always want people to shop locally, but they are going to consult with another local firm, and maybe we’ll have a local contractor that gets the bid for the construction portion.
“They can always hire local workers, too. One decision doesn’t define the entire project.”