New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is partnering with Mayor de Blasio, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and the NYC Economic Development Corporation to bring a new YMCA facility to Edenwald.
The new facility’s plans include a full-length basketball court, swimming pools, an indoor track, a wellness center, a child care facility and multi-purpose rooms.
Diaz said “providing the Bronx with a high quality recreation center” has been one of his goal’s since becoming borough president in 2009.
The $48 million project will provide after-school education programs, a diabetes prevention program, senior adult programs and a teen center.
It will be located at 1250 E. 229th Street, not far from the Edenwald Houses, the Edenwald Community Center, neighborhood playgrounds and Seton Falls Park.
In addition, the facility will be convenient to the Boston Road commercial corridor and public transportation.
The YMCA is expected to serve residents of all income levels through the organization’s Financial Assistance Program.
The goal, aaording the the Y, is to make sure “no one is turned away because of inability to pay.”
The project also includes 200 on-site parking spaces.
Sharlene Brown, executive director for the YMCA on Castle Hill Ave, said residents in Edenwald along with officials in the community have wanted a recreational facility for several decades.
She said that during the discussions for the new facility, the community felt YMCA was the right choice.
Brown explained the community “felt it was an organization that could bring the services to the community that were needed.”
The Bronx was the only borough in NYC that didn’t have multiple YMCAs.
Other borough’s have as much as much as five or six YMCAs, said Brown.
She credited Heastie with pushing the project, calling him the “backbone” of the efforts to get the recreational facility established.
Heastie said a community center such as the YMCA has been “a dream” of his.
He added the center will create “a fun and safe environment” for children to learn and grow.
In addition he said the center will create jobs and be an investment “in the future of the Bronx.”
According to the borough president’s office, the construction of new YMCA will generate 101 construction job and 100 permanent jobs which will pay a living wage.
Heastie’s office credited Jevonni Brooks and Jaamal Bailey – members of the speaker’s office – with spearheading the project.
The YMCA will hire through NYC Economic Development Corporation’s HireNYC program.
The program helps connect services that help people find work with projects that need workers.
Construction on the building is expected to begin in the fall of 2018 and be completed during early 2020.
The facility is expected to serve 25,000 New Yorkers by it’s fourth year of operations.