(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David today joined Senator Fred Akshar and United Way of Broome County Executive Director Robin Alpaugh to kick off demolition of 110 Liberty St., the first step in a massive expansion project for the Lee Barta Community Center on Binghamton’s North Side.
“We’re removing a longtime neighborhood eyesore and freeing space for the Lee Barta Community Center to expand and transform the North Side,” said Mayor Richard C. David. “Through creative planning and smart investments, we can begin to turn these streets around.”
“I'm proud to be part of a team of like-minded, community-focused individuals like Mayor Rich David, United Way Director Robin Alpaugh, and Visions CEO Ty Muse who are committed to making a difference in Binghamton," said Senator Fred Akshar. “It's great to see no time wasted on this important project that will remove blight and help provide the opportunities and the hope that the children of our community deserve to help them thrive and prosper in life.”
110 Liberty St. is a vacant and blighted residential property that borders the Lee Barta Community Center. In Nov. 2016, the City purchased the property from a private owner for $26,000.
Byler Excavating, of Binghamton, is performing demolition at a cost of $17,097.30, paid for by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
The Lee Barta Community Center expansion project at 108 Liberty St. will cost $450,000 and include state-of-the-art community meeting space, classrooms, computer lab, full-size instructional kitchen, outdoor pavilion and recreation areas. The current facility, owned by the City of Binghamton and staffed by the United Way, is only 1,200 square-feet. The new facility will be roughly 3,600 square-feet.
The City has hosted a community meeting to solicit input on final building designs and the entire project should be complete in the fall of 2017.
The City is funding $100,000 of the project, through a combination of CDBG funds and general operating funds.
Senator Fred Akshar has secured $300,000 in grant funds from the State and Municipal Facilities Program of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY).
Visions Federal Credit Union is providing $50,000 for construction of the Visions Community Room as part of the project. The Visions Community Room will be the home for neighborhood meetings, personal development workshops and workforce training classes.
The United Way of Broome County staffs three full-time employees, two AmeriCorps members and one intern at the site. As part of the expansion project, the United Way will provide expanded services.
In 1998, the Lee Barta Center originally opened as a Binghamton Police substation. It was named for Patrolman Lee Barta, a Binghamton Police officer who on Aug. 3, 1995 was shot and killed in the line of duty on the same block. Barta was 29 years old.
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