A longtime Dutchess County YMCA is being torn down after it sat empty for over a decade. A "state-of-the-art" youth center is planned.

Demolition Starts on Poughkeepsie, New York YMCA

On Monday, top officials from Dutchess County joined local stakeholders as the demolition of the former Poughkeepsie YMCA building at 35 Montgomery Street started.

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Officials note this is the next step in the process of the development of what's described as a "state-of-the-art" Youth Opportunity Union (YOU).

"The YMCA had a profound, positive impact on our communities for decades, and Dutchess County’s Youth Opportunity Union will build on that legacy of transforming the lives of young people. We will build a safe, structured space to offer essential educational services, childcare, and recreation opportunities – addressing numerous needs for Dutchess County children and their families. We continue our journey toward the YOU, which will transform the lives of so many young people for generations to come," Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro stated.

State-of-the-Art Youth Center Coming to Poughkeepsie, New York

The Youth Opportunity Union will be built at the site of the former Poughkeepsie YMCA and will benefit children from throughout Dutchess County, officials note.

"The YOU will be a fixture for the County’s Path to Promise initiative that employs strategic ways to ensure all young people in Dutchess County have the assets they need to realize their full potential as they grow into adults," Dutchess County officials stated.

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In July 2021, Dutchess County officials finalized a land agreement to acquire the land. Officials then committed to spending $25 million to build and design the Youth Opportunity Union (YOU).

Prior to selling the property to Dutchess County, the City of Poughkeepsie conducted a preliminary environmental and structural review and determined the former YMCA building must be torn down. The City of Poughkeepsie's building inspector also deemed the structure unsafe.

The City of Poughkeepsie took ownership of the property in 2019 after the site had been empty for a decade.

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"The YOU project has received great interest from a variety of organizations, including the nationally renowned Harlem Children’s Zone; formal funding/donation solicitation, however, will not begin until design and cost estimates are finalized," Dutchess County officials stated in a press release. The YOU will be a fixture for the County’s Path to Promise initiative that employs strategic ways to ensure all young people in Dutchess County have the assets they need to realize their full potential as they grow into adults."

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro was joined by City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and members of the City’s Common Council on Monday and Dutchess County took the next step towards making the YOU a reality.

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“During our initial public meetings in 2019, community members made it abundantly clear they wanted this site to be used once again as a community hub, with a focus on youth,” Mayor Rolison said. “I’m grateful the County has agreed to take on this project and is committed to creating an inclusive and safe space for our youth to learn and grow.”

Construction on the YOU is expected to begin in 2023.

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