The Serphin R. Maltese Community Center will officially open to the public at 776 Fairview Ave., once known as the Joseph Garity veterans post, after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m.
The GRYC will provide Universal Pre-K (UPK) services, as well as Special Needs UPK and day care services at their new 13,000-square-foot facility. There is also a large community meeting room on the lower level and additional office space for the GRYC educational department.
Although the center is set up for education, the facility will cater to the needs of everyone in Ridgewood, young and old.
According to Bob Monahan, president of the GRYC, the facility was named after former NYS Senator Serphin Maltese because he originally allocated the funding from the Senate, allowing the GRYC to purchase the former Garity Post from Wyckoff Heights Hospital, preventing the building from becoming a church.
“Even after losing his election that year to Senator Joe Addabbo, Serf still kept to his word and commitment to secure this funding in the last two months of his term in office,” Monahan said. “The following year, the Queens Delegation of the City Council and Borough President Helen Marshall allocated $2.255 million to refurbish the facility.”
That funding, however, was a reimbursable grant, so it took the GRYC several years to secure enough funding to actually begin the project.
“The original intent was to move the GRYC operations from Myrtle Avenue to this location, but, in the time that it took to secure the needed funding, [Deputy Brooklyn Borough President] Diana Reyna, [Councilwoman] Elizabeth Crowley, [Councilman] Eric Ulrich and the rest of the Queens Delegation allocated $1.65 million to purchase the building that it occupies today on Summerfield Street,” Monahan said.
The GRYC Headquarters is located at 59-03 Summerfield St. and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you would like to attend the ribbon cutting, RSVP to Monahan at bmonahan[@]thegryc.org, or call 718-456-5437 ext. 221. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony.