The effort to build a YMCA facility on town land in Calverton took a step forward Tuesday when the Riverhead Town Board unanimously voted to designate YMCA of Long Island a “qualified and eligible sponsor” for the project.
That designation, which is required before the town can deed land it owns in an Urban Development area such as its Enterprise Park at Calverton, basically means the town believes the YMCA has the financial means and ability to complete the proposed project.
The designation is needed before the town can take the next step and deed the 7.3 acres to the YMCA.
A public hearing on the designation last month drew no opposition, although most of the speakers were connected with YMCA in some manner. YMCA of Long Island said it has raised $6.5 million of the $8 million needed for the project.
The town plans to give the land to the YMCA and, in exchange, the Y group is proposing to give $25,000 per year in scholarships to needy Riverhead residents to offset membership costs. The town may initially lease the land to YMCA so the organization can start construction before the town completes its expected subdivision of the EPCAL land, a former Grumman naval weapons site.
The subdivision is needed to transfer ownership of the parcel.
The proposed 40,000 square foot YMCA building will include an Olympic size pool, locker rooms, a strength training center, day care classrooms, a community center, multipurpose rooms and offices.
The subsidiary Peconic YMCA group, headed by Joe Van de Wetering of Baiting Hollow, has been searching for a site in the Riverhead area since 1997, and has seen numerous proposed locations fall by the wayside due to various reasons over the years.