Schenectady County

Plans to reopen Duanesburg YMCA still being worked out

The Duanesburg YMCA building at 221 Victoria Drive in Delanson

The Duanesburg YMCA building at 221 Victoria Drive in Delanson

DUANESBURG — A proposal to reopen the now-shuttered Duanesburg YMCA is on hold while the Duanesburg Central School District continues to work out details to acquire the property without burdening tax payers. 

Superintendent James Niedermeier, during a school board meeting last week, said district officials are currently in conversations with Schenectady County and various community entities that are interested in partnering to reopen the once vibrant community center.

“There’s a lot of things that have to be considered in order to do that, but we also want to make sure that project doesn’t add additional tax burden to the community,” he said. “If it does, that is something that we’re prepared to walk away from.”

Last month, the Schenectady County Legislature advanced a proposal to acquire the 26,276-square-foot facility that sits on 26.6 acres of land at 221 Victoria Drive in the village of Delanson using $1.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, with plans to donate the property to the school district.

The school district in turn hopes to use the space to expand its universal pre-kindergarten program and other course offerings, and reopen the center to the public through a partnership that would see an outside organization operate the facility’s health center.

The facility features a five-lane swimming pool, fitness center, pickleball and tennis courts, a commercial kitchen and outdoor play equipment.

The center, which was constructed in 2009, had hundreds of members, but was closed permanently earlier this year after shutting its doors in the early days of the pandemic for safety concerns. The facility never reopened following the shutdown.

In an interview with the Gazette last month, Niedermeier said acquiring the property was a “unique opportunity” for the district, and could help save on future capital costs and enhance learning opportunities for district students and those throughout the region.

He said there was potential to partner with BOCES and SUNY Schenectady as well as a child-care provider, all of which could help bring in additional revenue to offset the costs of maintaining the property.

But details on any potential partnerships remain unclear at this time, and the sale of the property is not yet finalized. The district’s Board of Education still needs to vote to accept the donation.

A timeline for when that may happen also remains unclear, but Neidermeier said the district will provide more information as details emerge.

“It sounds like I’m not saying certain things and that’s because with real estate transactions and other things like that, you don’t really want to talk too much in public until you have a solid plan,” he said. “You can rest assured that we will communicate when the time’s right to communicate about that.”

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.  

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