Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $3 million award to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady, Inc. that will allow the organization to construct a new $13 million, state-of the-art community facility serving children, teens, and families in Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill and Mont Pleasant neighborhoods. Today’s announcement supports Schenectady County’s leading youth organization, which reaches more than 12,000 young people annually and will allow the Boys and Girls Clubs to substantially expand its services.
“This well-deserved award for a new home for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady is an investment in the community and an investment in the next generation,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York will continue to take critical steps toward creating an environment where children and teens will receive the guidance and opportunities they deserve to build a brighter future and a stronger community.”
The new 39,000 square-foot building in Quakenbush Park will include a 4,000 square-foot teen center, a commercial kitchen for providing meals and teaching young people how to cook, a technology center, a gymnasium, a game room, a theater for performing arts designed in partnership with Proctors Theater, and more.
“This funding will help advance development in Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill and Mont Pleasant neighborhoods, providing a constructive and safe place for children to learn and play, and delivering essential services for families,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The new home of the Boys & Girls Clubs complements the investments already underway in the area including the Hillside View Apartments, which offer affordable housing options for residents. The City of Schenectady is experiencing a rebirth with the transformation of downtown, and our investments in projects throughout the city are helping to support growth and opportunities for all.”
The award was made through New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Urban Community Investment Fund, which finances the development or rehabilitation of retail, commercial, or community facility space associated with affordable residential developments. The award complements HCR’s recent investment in Hamilton Hill’s Hillside View Apartments which includes the redevelopment of the former Horace Mann and St. Columba’s schools into 58 affordable apartments for area families. St. Columba’s was home to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady before it vacated the distressed property in 2017 and began operating programs remotely out of schools, parks, and summer camps. HCR recognized this as a community development opportunity and used CIF resources to help the organization construct a new home and increase its positive impact on young people and their families.
The new facility will be located on 2.26 acres of land in Quakenbush Park gifted by the City of Schenectady and close to four schools – Mont Pleasant Middle School, Pleasant Valley Elementary, the Steinmetz Career & Leadership Academy, and the Martin Luther King Elementary School. The new club is expected to serve over 300 young people every day, addressing the many needs families face such as safety, nutrition, after school care, access to technology and learning and recreation opportunities.
The total project cost is financed by a CIF grant of $3 million, $2.4 million in equity that is generated from a $6 million New Market Tax Credit allocation from Empire State New Market Corporation, a subsidiary of Empire State Development, and a New Market Tax Credit allocation from The Community Builders, as well as pledges from the community of $7.8 million.
Shane Bargy, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady, said, “The Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady is so thankful to Governor Cuomo and New York State HCR for this amazing investment in our community. This building project brings much needed resources to the children and families who need us most. This award from New York State helps make this state-of-the-art facility possible and clearly demonstrates to our young people how much we all care about their current and future success.”
RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “HCR invested in needed affordable housing in this challenged Schenectady neighborhood, and we are now supporting essential services that will continue improving quality of life in Hamilton Hill and throughout the city. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, HCR is committed to taking this type of holistic approach to housing and community development. We are proud to help provide a new home to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady, and to assure a brighter future for youth and families.”
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Investment in the new Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady facility is an investment in the City’s future, providing crucial services for kids and families that will encourage community growth and development.”
Senator Jim Tedisco said, “The Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady is a very special place that gives a helping hand to kids and sets them on the path to personal success. I was proud to sponsor and pass legislation in the Senate to allow for construction of this new facility which will provide a fun and safe place for children in Hamilton Hill and Mont Pleasant to learn and grow.”
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, “When we invest in our communities, we’re investing our future. The new Boys & Girls Clubs facility is another important step towards meeting the needs of local families offering services and resources that help revitalize our neighborhoods and build a stronger Schenectady.”
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “The Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady is a fundamental asset to our community, providing vital support to children, teens, and families during critical periods of their lives. This is a crucial investment in Schenectady and a key component of our efforts to improve quality of life for children and families in the Hamilton Hill and Mont Pleasant neighborhoods.”
Anthony Jasenski, Chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature said, “We are thankful to Governor Cuomo and to New York State Homes and Community Renewal for this $3 million grant that makes the new Boys & Girls Club a reality for Schenectady County. In addition, we thank Empire State Development and The Community Builders for allocating New Market Tax Credits to this project. The grant and the tax credits push us over the goal line and allow for the construction of this new 39,000 square foot building that will serve hundreds of young people every day in our community while providing a major boost to our neighborhood revitalization efforts.”