SCHENECTADY, N.Y. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of the $13 million state-of-the-art Adeline Wright Graham Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady. The new facility will allow the Schenectady County’s leading youth organization to expand their services and triple daily attendance to more than 300 children and teens every day.
“As we continue to make residential and commercial investments in our downtown areas, it’s equally important that we identify new ways to provide children the supportive, nurturing environments they need to build a bright future,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new Boys & Girls Club will do just that – giving local families a safe, fun and stimulating place to go when they’re not at school or work.”
“The opening of the new Boys & Girls Clubs in Schenectady’s Mont Pleasant and Hamilton Hill neighborhoods is a game changer for children and families in the area,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “This project is a great example of the importance of public-private partnerships and support to advance economic development and enhance quality of life in communities across the state. The $13 million facility significantly expands the number of children served and provides state-of-the-art amenities including a full-size basketball court, high-tech game rooms, and performance theater. This investment complements other state investments in the city’s neighborhoods and downtown to help ensure continued growth and success.”
Strategically located between Mont Pleasant Middle School and Pleasant Valley Elementary on the border of both the Mont Pleasant and Hamilton Hill neighborhoods, the new Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady includes a 4,000-square-foot teen center; a commercial learning kitchen; separate rooms for games and programs, technology centers; a gymnasium with bleachers that can be divided into three separate gyms; and a performance theater designed in partnership with Proctors Theatre.
The new facility will enable staff to work with more than 300 children daily, nearly triple the number of the former Boys & Girls Clubs facility on Craig Street. The prior location in Hamilton Hill was unable to keep up with the needs and demands of young people in Schenectady’s neighborhoods. The Club will also play a vital role in the development and well-being of local students by serving more than 96,000 nutritious meals and snacks annually to support growth, fitness and overall health.
Financing for the $13 million project includes $3 million from Homes and Community Renewal’s Community Investment Fund and $2.4 million in equity that will be generated from New Market Tax Credit allocations from Empire State Development and The Community Builders. An additional $7.8 million has been raised through the generous donations of individuals, foundations and corporations.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “As a working mother of three small children, I know how much this wonderful new facility will mean to parents and caretakers, and to the more than 300 kids who will walk through these doors on a daily basis to learn and play. HCR is proud to have invested $3 million in this pivotal community asset that will enhance quality of life for families in Hamilton Hill and throughout Schenectady. Governor Cuomo’s commitment to families, children, and the future is embodied in this building and we are grateful that so many community partners share our vision and have invested generously to make this dream come true.”
ESD Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “We’re proud to support this transformational Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady project, which provides a reliable safe space, as well as vital support services, for hundreds of young people and is an investment in the future of Schenectady County’s youth.”
City of Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “This state-of-the-art facility is a transformational investment for our youth in the Hamilton Hill and Mont Pleasant neighborhoods. I thank Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Visnauskas for their crucial support of this fundamental asset in our community.”
Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady Executive Director Shane Bargy said, “This facility not only address the many needs of children in the community, but a symbol that so many people care deeply about them being safe and reaching their full potential in life.”
Senior Project Manager at The Community Builders Jennica Huff said, “The Community Builders is honored to have been a part of one of the largest investments in young people in the history of The City of Schenectady.”
About The Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady
Since 1936, BGCS has served young people from every walk of life, especially vulnerable youth who are at risk. Eight decades later, it is the largest youth development organization in Schenectady County, with 16 sites, including extensions, summer parks, all of the City of Schenectady’s swimming pools and Camp Lovejoy. The organization serves over 12,000 children and teens annually in some of Schenectady’s most distressed neighborhoods.
Governor’s Press Office
Photo courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady