Binghamton secures $1 million for youth center

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St. Mary of the Assumption is open to selling or sharing its recreation center with another entity, Reverend Jon Werner said. (Jillian Forstadt/WSKG)

VESTAL, NY (WSKG)—The City of Binghamton will receive $1 million in federal funding for a new youth center as part of the U.S. government’s 2022 spending package.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York announced the award, which they said would allow the city to boost its recreational and after-school offerings.

City officials allocated $3 million of its federal American Rescue Plan Act allotment to build a youth center last September. The City Council, however, voted to unallocate those funds after construction costs came back higher than initially estimated last month.

The city has since tabled plans for a newly-constructed youth center, but Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham said the project continues to have bipartisan support and that the city will seek alternative avenues.

“As the city figures out what’s the best way to move forward and achieve that goal, having this support from the federal funding will help us do that,” Kraham said last week.

That could potentially involve the St. Mary’s Recreation Center, located just off Columbus Park and owned by St. Mary of the Assumption.

Kraham said the city is in conversation with the church, as well as Binghamton native and Monmouth University basketball coach King Rice.

“This could be a million dollars for renovations that make it even better able to serve the community,” Kraham said.

No official plans or timeline has been announced.