NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - More than two years after they were forced to shutter the doors to the popular pool facility, New Rochelle YMCA officials are ready to re-dedicate the recently renovated space.
On Saturday, some of the “lifesavers” that helped keep the pool open amidst a $1 million renovation will be on hand at the YMCA pool for the rededication ceremony and an Olympic-sized “really big relay,” according to CEO Rich McCarty.
Each of the five relay teams will be captained by one of the “lifesavers” who helped raise the fund to make the pools renovations, including Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (representing the state of New York), Legislator Jim Maisano (Westchester County), Mayor Noam Bramson (New Rochelle City Hall), McCarty (YMCA), Michael Dassler (New Rochelle Police Department)
During a routine inspection in the summer of 2014, contractors discovered severe damage to the overhead drop ceiling above the pool, including dangerously eroded support beams that forced officials to shut down the aquatic center, one of the main sources of revenue for the YMCA.
Due to its status as an independent YMCA, it does not receive financial support from the larger, national organization, which meant that every dollar for the renovation had to be funded locally. YMCA and local officials quickly went to work on the $1.3 million “Be a Lifesaver Campaign,” which saw Paulin and Assemblyman Steve Otis secure $1 million in grants to secure the funding needed to kick off construction.
During the renovation, contractors completely replaced the roof, including new HVAC units. The interior of the center has been overhauled, complete with new paint along the walls and in the hallway and new lighting was installed. Additionally, contractors did work on the exterior of the roof and replaced multiple windows at the facility.
The pool was originally scheduled to be opened late last year, but it was delayed multiple times until March this year.
“The fundraiser was the most critical in the Y’s 30-year-history,” New Rochelle YMCA Julie Gallanty said about ‘Be a Lifesaver.’ “Unfortunately, the reality was, if we didn’t raise those 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.”
The rededication ceremony kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the renovated YMCA pool facility, followed by the relay race.