Design plans for the imposing, turn-of-the-century building, located on the corner of 64th Street and Catalpa Avenue, include a renovated gym, early childhood and youth program space, computer lab and teen center, and a health and wellness center.
Other features are an extended, high school regulation-sized basketball court, first floor weight gym, and an interior courtyard with a glass-enclosed fitness space. According to the YMCA, once finished the 20,000-square-foot Ridgewood branch will be its most modern facility in Queens.
Maloney, who is overseeing the renovation for Anlar LLC, the contractor carrying out the construction, said the building has come a long way since work began there in May of last year.
“This building definitely took a beating [over the years]” said Maloney, who dated its construction to sometime after 1888, when terracotta was largely introduced to United States construction, and the start of the 20th century.
Indeed the building’s interior is replete with signs of 100 years of use, from paint-chipped walls to well-worn floors. As Maloney led a tour around the facility, men worked to remove piles of demolished debris from the first floor, which will be transformed into the health and fitness center. Others on the ground floor prepared the bathrooms for tiling.
The biggest component of the renovation work was replacing the building’s ceiling, Maloney said. Original plans called for a repair of the existing roof, but Maloney said it soon became clear a complete replacement would be needed.
“What happened was as we proceeded through the project [we realized] the roof structure was defective,” said Maloney.
A full two-thirds of the roof has been replaced, said Maloney, with the rest scheduled to be finished in coming weeks. Other ongoing work that remains to be finished is a replacement of the remaining original plumbing system, ground floor bathrooms, and second floor executive offices.
Maloney acknowledged major work still needs to be done, but said he was confident his team would finished by the scheduled completion date.
“The idea is to create a space that’s a beacon for the area and affordable for everyone,” said Greg Maziarz, the Ridgewood YMCA’s executive director. He said once the facility is finished it will have space for everyone from teenagers to senior citizens.
In the meantime, said Maziarz, the Ridgewood YMCA’s summer program will begin as scheduled on June 29. The Ridgewood YMCA has operated two offsite facilities during the Catalpa Avenue branch reconstruction. For more information on summer programs or membership at the new location, call (212) 643-4077.
The space that will hold the regulation-sized basketball court.
Construction workers remove debris from the first floor.
Project Superintendent John Maloney.