The Greater Amsterdam Family YMCA is looking to expand its day care facility in an effort to reconnect with a city that it once called home.
“We are really looking to expand our infant and toddler program,” Jennifer Nasadoski, director of the Y’s learning center program, said.
The YMCA serves children from infancy through prekindergarten age. The children are split into various sections: from birth to 18 months, 18 to 36 months, 2-year-olds, preschool and pre-K.
Nasadoski said she would like to break up the infant and toddler rooms further to include a special room for infants 12 to 18 months.
Nasadoski said there is not enough space at the current Hagaman facility to accommodate those needs. She said the Y is looking at the possibility of moving into the old Bacon School, closed a few years ago by the Greater Amsterdam School District. The district recently signed a lease agreement with Whispering Pines Preschool, which plans to move into a portion of the building this fall.
Nasadoski said the YMCA has stepped up its efforts to transform the facility’s day care center into an instruction-based learning center. The Y is currently trying to earn accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Nasadoski said the Bacon School would offer various amenities like access to the gymnasium for gross motor instruction and a media center.
Besides offering the Y’s learning center the opportunity to expand, a move into the Bacon School would allow the YMCA to reconnect with the city it serves, something it is trying to do, according to Vito Martuscello, a member of the YMCA’s Board of Trustees.
“Several years ago we had to move out of our building and we couldn’t find a new one in Amsterdam so we had to move to Hagaman,” Martuscello said. “We are trying to reconnect with our city residents.”
After about 150 years, the Amsterdam YMCA moved to its new site in Hagaman in 2002. It located in the old St. Stephen’s Parish School, formerly owned by the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese.
A study conducted in the late 1990s found that it was more cost-effective for the YMCA to move out of its facility on Division Street than repair the heating system to the three-story building.
Nasadoski said there are many families in the city that don’t have access to the learning center because of its location.
“We are out of the way of a lot of families,” she said. “We want to pull back into Amsterdam and meet the needs of the community.”