By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A new YMCA in Coney Island will provide an economic boost to the neighborhood by providing jobs for local residents, officials are predicting.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Coney Island Y took place on Dec. 6. Councilman Domenic Recchia, whose district includes Coney Island, and outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz joined officials from the YMCA of Greater New York at the new Y on West 29th Street to celebrate the opening of the spacious, 44,000 square foot facility.
“This new facility will be a cornerstone of the neighborhood’s ongoing revitalization and recovery from Superstorm Sandy. By bringing new jobs and economic development as well as social and athletic opportunities, the Coney Island Y will be a fantastic resource for members of the community,” Recchia (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) said.
Markowitz said the new YMCA will become a vital part of Coney Island. “Facilities like this are so important; they provide thousands of young Brooklynites with a safe, nurturing place to play and learn after school, and the guidance and sense of community they need to succeed in today’s world,” he said. “It’s clear the Y is a valuable community partner that is truly dedicated to nurturing young Brooklynites, teaching social responsibility, and promoting healthy living. With everything they do, there’s no question that in Brooklyn the Y stands for Yes!”
The Coney Island YMCA, which overlooks Coney Island’s historic boardwalk, has a four-lane pool, a family recreational pool, a full-court gymnasium, fitness centers and multi-purpose rooms.
Superstorm Sandy, which hit Coney Island hard, caused a three month delay in construction of the new facility, YMCA officials said.
The new Y will have the same mission as all of the other facilities, the YMCA runs, officials said.
“The Y is and always will be committed to strengthening the foundations of community through programs and services that focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” said Jack Lund, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York. “This state-of-the art facility promises to become an instant neighborhood anchor and icon. As much as we love our buildings, however, they only house the spirit of the Y. That spirit truly is found in the YMCA’s people: its staff and volunteers, its community leaders and donors, and of course, its kids—all united by a shared commitment to improve the quality of life for the families of NYC’s neighborhoods."
The Y is also building a new branch in the Rockaways, another historic New York beachfront community that was affected by Hurricane Sandy. That facility is scheduled to open on Jan. 24.