NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Steady progress continues to be made at the New Rochelle YMCA, as renovations and construction continues on the local pool, which was in danger of being shut down earlier this year.
The very existence of the New Rochelle YMCA, which has been a staple of the community for more than three decades, was put in danger when contractors discovered damage to the ceiling and support beams while removing a drop roof over the pool, which is no longer permitted due to the moisture that can, and did build up.
As a result, YMCA and local officials kicked off the $1.3 million “Be a Lifesaver” campaign to raise the money needed to secure the necessary bank loans. After several fundraising events that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, Assembly members Amy Paulin and Steve Otis each secured $500,000 in grant funds to cover the rest of the costs last month.
Exterior work at the pool continues, as contractors work to replace several damaged windows, and the drop ceiling has been removed. Supporting beams have been sandblasted, and this week, and a brand new HVAC unit has been installed to replace the old, antiquated unit.
Officials with the YMCA are hopeful of hosting a grand opening of the pool near the week of Nov. 1.
Due to its status as an independent YMCA, the New Rochelle branch does not receive support from the larger, national YMCA organization. This distinction forced New Rochelle YMCA Chief Executive Officer Julie Gallanty and local leaders to reach out to the community for assistance. As one of the chief sources of revenue for the organization, if the pool was forced to shutter its doors for an extended period of time, the entire location may have been shut down.
“This fundraiser was the most critical in the Y’s 30-year-history,” Gallanty said. “Unfortunately, the reality is, if we didn’t raise these funds, our pool would have to close for good, and since it is a major source of funding for us, we would have to close our doors to the community entirely.”
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