By Evan Triantafilidis
The Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens (VBGC) is slated to receive $2.7 million in funds from the Mayor’s office for a new state-of-the-art community center in Jackson Heights, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday.
“We’re making investments in some of the communities hardest hit by COVID,” said de Blasio during a Monday morning press conference. “It’s so important for our young people to have a place to go that’s safe where they can learn, where they can get after-school help, and get them on the right track.”
Funding for the new center was secured by Councilman Daniel Dromm.
“This funding will go a long way in bringing after-school programming, sports opportunities, and much more to kids and families,” said VBGC CEO Costa Constantinides. “This is a wonderful capstone to Dromm’s years of service and his steadfast commitment to Queens.”
Currently, the club’s 30,000-square-foot facility in Astoria is open seven days a week and features an indoor swimming pool, basketball court and dance studio. Equipped with after-school, summer, weekend and teen programs serving thousands of kids per year, VBGC has been in operation since 1955.
Dromm, who is leaving his position at the end of the year due to term limits, said a place is needed in Jackson Heights to gather and meet neighbors, as well as a place for area youth to safely hang out.
“This allocation of $2.7 million to the creation of our new community center is really going to have an impact on the future of this community,” said Dromm. “As we get ready to leave our tenure, I want to say thank you for making these investments in our community.”