Sunnyside Variety Boys and Girls eye a clubhouse
by Andrew Pavia
Mar 20, 2013 | 2649 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Sunnyside and Woodside Variety Boys and Girls Club is looking for a home of its own. Currently, the group uses the facilities of St. Teresa’s and P.S. 199 for its programming.

The proposed location of a new three-story, $20 million facility is on a triangular section of land bounded by 48th Avenue, 42nd Street and Greenpoint Avenue.

The first floor would be rented out for commercial use, while the second floor would include an indoor basketball court. The third floor would be used for educational use and schoolwork. A pool and athletic facility is proposed for the basement.

The commercial space on the ground floor would, in estimation, account for $405,000 in rental income for the three-year-old club to help sustain their programming.

With roughly 150 kids participating in the program, club chairman Vincent Renda said he wants to provide more stability.

Renda also said a new facility would give the club the ability to serve more kids on a daily basis. Roughly 200 kids a day would be able to use the facility, with a goal of signing up 1,000 kids in total.

The initial investment of $4 million to purchase the land will be raised through fundraising. An additional $16 million will be needed for construction, and Renda hopes that elected officials can come up with at least $10 million.

“We don’t want to be a drain,” said Renda. “We want to add value to the community.”

Renda said the club plans on opening up the gym and athletic portions of the building to the community during the hours it is not in use by the club.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer was shown the proposal last week, and said that he supports the idea.

“I would very much like to help make this happen,” said Van Bramer. “I will be a leader in the effort to secure funding for the project in any and all ways I can.”

Mock ups of the proposed Sunnyside/Woodside Variety Boys and Girls Club.

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