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Plans still in works for new YMCA facility in Rome

Nicole A. Hawley
Staff writer
email / twitter
Posted 4/5/22

ROME — Although COVID-19 was extremely challenging for YMCA facilities across the state due to mandated closures that lasted over several months, YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley officials said plans …

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Plans still in works for new YMCA facility in Rome

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ROME — Although COVID-19 was extremely challenging for YMCA facilities across the state due to mandated closures that lasted over several months, YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley officials said plans for a new facility in Rome are still under way amid the organization’s continuing efforts to recover from the many challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley CEO Hank Leo said the pandemic-related closures resulted in a loss of 54% of the Greater Tri-Valley’s membership, and $2 million in revenue.

“The pandemic was extremely challenging for YMCAs across New York, due to the mandated closures and masking requirements,” Leo said. “The Rome YMCA was closed over five months, along with the 27 school-age child care locations in elementary school sites throughout the region.”

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rome Y was engaged in a large capital campaign to build the new YMCA facility at the former Woodhaven site,” Leo added.

The Y had conducted a third-party feasibility study in 2018 which showed significant community interest and support with more than 90% of the community in favor of constructing a new facility in the Woodhaven area of the city which includes a stretch of land adjacent to Floyd Avenue and Park Drive.

Leo said the Y had secured more than $3 million in support for the few facility.

The Y is now in the process of re-surveying businesses, employees of Griffiss Business and Technology Park, and working with local and state municipalities on securing federal and state funding to continue the development of the project, prior to launching a community capital campaign, Leo explained.  

“A committee has been established which consists of the City of Rome Planning Committee, Mohawk Valley EDGE and YMCA leadership, meeting bi-weekly to move forward with the project,” said the YMCA CEO.

“A new, state-of-the-art YMCA facility is planned on 6.5 acres of the property on Floyd Avenue, across from Mohawk Valley Community College,” Leo said.

The project would dovetail with a major city project that includes the construction of hundreds of new homes.

In total, the new Y project will cost about $20 million, and Leo said there are efforts underway for federal and state grants/funding to pay for a significant portion of the project.

Once that milestone is reached, a public community campaign will commence, he said.

Although it’s too premature to release details, Leo said that there is an interested buyer for the YMCA’s existing 301 W. Bloomfield St. facility.

“The Y is one of the leading organizations, providing essential day care services, health and fitness programs, aquatic programs and swimming lessons, youth sports and teen programming,” said Leo.

“Studies show that cardiovascular, group exercise, child care and pool programming are at the forefront of the needs for the new Y,” he added.

This year, the Rome Family YMCA, 301 W. Bloomfield St., is celebrating its 150th anniversary in the community.

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