NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The fight continues to save the New Rochelle YMCA pool, as local officials and volunteers at the popular community center proceed with their million dollar “Be a Lifesaver” campaign to raise money to replace the damaged roof.
Damage to the ceiling and roof in the pool area was discovered last year when contractors were in the process of removing the pool’s drop roof, which is no longer permitted because it masks moisture buildup.
While investigating the damage, engineers found that the moisture buildup had caused severe damage to several steel beams that served as support for the roof structure, forcing the YMCA to completely replace the roof at an estimated cost of $1.3 million.
In order to secure the necessary bank loans, the YMCA must raise $400,000 up front to help offset costs of the construction project. According to Assembly members Steven Otis and Amy Paulin – who stand set to announce a “major grant” for the YMCA as early as next week - $262,000 has been raised at various fundraising events, with an additional $138,000 needed.
“The New Rochelle YMCA is an essential recreational facility in the city,” Paulin said. “The pool is central to its mission and used by young and old alike. It is unthinkable that it could be shut down, and I will work diligently with the community to see that it stays open.”
According to Julie Gallanty, the chief executive officer of the YMCA, the “Be a Lifesaver” campaign may be one of the most important in the organization’s history in New Rochelle. If the money is not raised, the YMCA will likely have to close down, as the pool is one of the main sources of income at the location.
“This fundraiser is the most critical in the Y’s 30-year-history,” she said. “Unfortunately, the reality is, if we cannot raise these funds, our pool will 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.”
Because it is an independent YMCA, the New Rochelle branch does not receive support from the larger, national YMCA organization. Due to this distinction, officials have been forced to reach out to the community it’s assisted for more than three decades. Thus far, there h
“The New Rochelle YMCA provides thousands of families with access to quality, affordable sports, health and educational programming,” New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson stated. “It really is one of our city’s vital institutions, and it’s facing a big challenge.”
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