Thursday, March 3, 2011

Doors Unlocked for Ridgewood Y

(c) Manhattan 2009 by Stuart Rinzler
By Eric Yun

The renovations are complete, and the Ridgewood YMCA is “here for good” to serve the community. Formerly the Catalpa Center YMCA, a satellite program of the Long Island City YMCA, the site escaped possible closure and underwent three years of construction that cost more than $8 million. The result is a new state of the art facility.

The building officially opened its doors to the public in January, but last Friday YMCA held its official ribbon cutting ceremony for the center. President and CEO of YMCA of Greater New York Jack Lund was joined by many of the politicians who helped fund the project: Congressman Anthony Weiner, Senator Joe Addabbo, Assemblyman Mike Miller, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and Councilwoman Diana Reyna.

Lund thanked the community for supporting the project and promised the Ridgewood Y would become a lasting social center for the community. “This is about all of us working together with a common goal to strengthen the foundations of the Ridgewood and Glendale communities to build healthy, confident and connected kids, adults and families,” he said.

“The YMCA is here for them, and we’re here for good,” Lund continued.

Lund gave Marshall a ceremonial key to the Ridgewood YMCA in honor of her work in ensuring the renovations were completed. The Ridgewood YMCA also named its new daycare facility, the Helen M. Marshall Early Childhood Education Center, in recognition for her support.

There were serious concerns the YMCA would close. The building, originally built in 1930 as a courthouse, was deteriorating and rising operational costs made continued funding difficult. Lund said he and Marshall came together to keep the Y open.

The new Ridgewood YMCA features new and modernized youth program spaces, fitness equipment, weight training and gym. It will serve as a pilot program for the YMCA’s national revitalization and will test new strategies to better serve the community.

The facility is located at 69-04 64th Street. For information about joining YMCA visit or call 212-912-2180.

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