Major League Baseball stepped up to the plate for south Queens.
The league announced it will donate $250,000 to build an all-star teen center in the new wing of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens as part of its $5 million legacy project.
The Boys & Girls Club is currently undergoing an $11.5 million capital project transformation, with the first phase the completion of the left wing.
In a topping off ceremony on Friday, July 12, public officials, Mets and MLB administrators and Boys and Girls Club members signed a white beam that was hoisted and inserted on top of the new wing, which is currently scheduled to be finished in December.
“The club has served more than 500,000 children in its 57-year existence,” said Borough President Helen Marshall, who was able to contribute nearly half of the money needed for the renovations. “I am thrilled that this new building will become a second home to thousands of additional children in the surrounding neighborhoods.”
The teen center will be a 3,000-square-foot space decorated in Mets orange and blue. It will include a technology lab, a college lab, classroom space, a lounge and a viewing balcony overlooking the new gymnasium. The center will serve high school students in Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Howard Beach and Jamaica.
“While other clubs have gone extinct, this boys and girls club has become a beacon of hope,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo.
The Boys and Girls Club was one of many projects in Queens and New York City chosen by the Mets and MLB as part of their legacy programs.
“The Mets and baseball targeted programs that provide great service for New York City, that have worked successfully in the past with both the Mets and Major League Baseball and that are best suited to create lasting benefits and to make a real difference in the lives of deserving New Yorkers,” said David Cohen, executive vice president of the Mets.
After the new wing is erected, the club will begin phase two of the transformation and renovate the old wing. Phase two is slated to begin in April of next year, according to Carol Simon, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Joseph Ferrara, chairman emeritus, who has been a part of the club for nearly 45 years. “I always envisioned that I would rebuild this club better.”
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