POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro and Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison have announced an agreement in principle to have the county assume ownership of the former YMCA site at 35 Montgomery Street in the city and invest $25 million to build a new, state-of-the-art Youth Opportunity Center there.
The common council must approve the property transfer for $10, which would pave the way for the county to bond to demolish the existing building, and design and construct a new facility, said Rolison.
“This is a clear path forward, and in our opinion, the less complicated one, to get this going,” Rolison said.
Second Ward Alderman Evan Menist represents the neighborhood where the project is located and also chairs the city’s Finance Committee. “When I talk with my constituents, the number one issue I hear about is needing a community center where children, families, and seniors can come together for programming, services, and events,” he said. “While 2020 saw our community split apart more than ever before, 2021 is a year for coming together, that is why I am proud to partner on a bipartisan, community-driven plan to provide Poughkeepsie with the community center that we need and deserve, so all of our families can learn, grow, celebrate, and succeed together.”
Rolison and Council Chair Sarah Salem have called a special meeting for 6 p.m. on March 3 to learn about the proposed agreement.
Under local finance law, the county must own the property to finance the $25 million development through municipal bonding. Assuming the common council approvals the transfer, the county legislature would have to approve the bonding.
“We have devised the best way to begin this immensely important project – creating an inspiring center to serve the needs of all our youth,” said Molinaro. “The site is the ideal location and the project fits perfectly into the county’s Path to Promise initiative, designed to ensure that all young people in Dutchess County – from birth through employment – have the assistance they need to achieve their full potential into young adults,” Molinaro said. “Working together with the City of Poughkeepsie, the county legislature, and community stakeholders, we can make this a model.”
A video of the interior of the dilapidated former YMCA can be viewed below.