Romans have a long-standing relationship with their YMCA.
"The Rome Y is one oldest Ys in the country," says CEO, Hank Leo. "It's been in the community for 147 years and the Y, nationally, is only 20 years older."
The Y has been in its current location, on West Bloomfield Street, since 1971. Leo says the facility is at the point where patching trouble spots is counter-productive and costly, and he looks forward to giving the YMCA's roughly 4600 members a new, 62,000 square foot facility on Floyd Ave, across from MVCC.
"The new area we're looking at to grow and develop in is on 8-10 acres of land, so it's 3-4x larger than the space we're in now," says Leo.
The project won $2 million at the Regional Economic Development Council Awards, in Albany, Tuesday. That will go toward the $12 million project. Leo hopes fundraising will cover the rest.
"Our 15th anniversary is in three years, so my aggressive approach to this is to have it done and open by the fall three years from now," says the CEO.
Also in Rome, visions of waterfront development, along the Erie Canal, beneath the South James Street bridge.
"It'll be a fortified bulkhead, kind of extend out into the water. There'll be fishing access, seating, wayfinding, historical markers," says Mayor Jacqueline Izzo.
The city will be putting roughly $500,000 in REDC money toward the project. Past experience tells them it will be a wise investment.
"We are experiencing much higher traffic now at Bellamy Harbor Park with all the improvements we put in toward the Barge Canal area," said the Mayor.