New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced completion of upgrades to the Westbury Recreation and Community Center Complex, part of the village’s plan to revitalize its downtown community hub after it won $10 million in the inaugural round of Governor Cuomo’s statewide Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Westbury utilized approximately $526,000 in DRI funds to upgrade the facilities to better support the 300 youth, adults and seniors that use the facility daily.
“HCR is proud to work with our State colleagues and community partners to advance Governor Cuomo’s commitment to revitalizing downtowns across the state,” Commissioner Visnauskas said. “This $526,000 award to upgrade and modernize Westbury’s Recreation and Community Center Complex will allow the village to better serve its residents and accommodate new families who join this vibrant and transit-oriented community. By supporting modern and energy-efficient recreation facilities, we can make a real difference in the lives of New York’s families and seniors.”
The $526,000 award, administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, upgraded the three facilities that make up the Westbury Recreation and Community Center complex. In addition to improving services and energy-efficiency, the project modernizes and expands the capacity of the facilities to accommodate new residents to the growing community.
The scope of work includes interior alterations to the main activity room and lounge that are used primarily by the community’s active senior citizens’ organization, as well as numerous other community organizations on nights and weekends. Improvements included the installation of new flooring, a new decorative ceiling, LED lighting fixtures, ADA compliant doors, new electrical outlets with phone charging capabilities and a new audio-visual system. The building now has a new energy-efficient boiler, HVAC system and windows.
Upgrades to the sports center included a new roof, all new LED light fixtures, a newly refinished gymnasium floor and safety padding.
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “Westbury is passionately fulfilling its strategic vision and increasing the vibrancy of the village through its implementation of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. We have seen the valuable role that public spaces play in overcoming social isolation and the upgraded Community Center complex will breathe new life into the area by creating fresh spaces and opportunities for seniors and families to safely gather. The Department of State is proud to work with the Village and our agency partners to help transform the Community Center through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.”
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “The vastly upgraded Westbury Recreation and Community Center Complex creates a more welcoming, modern and energy-efficient community hub offering improved services for seniors and families. This contributes to vibrant neighborhoods and downtowns that are vital components of Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.”
Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, “Ever since Westbury Village won Governor Cuomo’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award, we have seen the great things that can be achieved when the community and government come together, craft a vision for a better tomorrow, and make smart investments that take us there. The newly upgraded Westbury Recreation and Community Center Complex is the latest jewel to open in Westbury’s thriving downtown, and I applaud Governor Cuomo, the village government, and the entire community for their efforts on this great achievement.”
Assemblyman Charles Lavine said, "I am thrilled to be celebrating the renovation completion in the Downtown area in Westbury Village. This renovation is bringing many beneficial and much-needed resources to the community amid a pandemic. The renovation includes upgrades to community meeting spaces, allowing the very active senior citizen community a place to meet safely. Along with upgrades to community organization spaces, the renovation has also incorporated energy-efficient systems into their buildings, allowing for a long-lasting change in our community. The renovation also includes ADA compliant doors, making them accessible to every member of our community. These upgrades will make the downtown area a home away from for many residents."
Assemblyman Michael Montesano said, “I am very pleased with the outcome of the DRI grant and the improvements that have been made to enhance the use of the Westbury Community Center. The center is the life blood of the Westbury community and will enable more activities to be held there. I am grateful to the Governor and the NYS Departments of State and Homes and Community Renewal for providing the resources and I would like to congratulate Mayor Cavallaro and his administration for the thoughtful and excellent job they did in the design and construction of these improvements.
County Executive Laura Curran said, “Westbury’s revitalization has been a remarkable success story, and these new upgrades for the Recreation and Community Center Complex keep the positive momentum going. Governor Cuomo’s investment in Nassau’s downtown revitalizations has been a game-changer, and we thank him for his continued partnership.”
Mayor Peter Cavallaro said, “The completion of the Community Center improvements will greatly enhance the use of these very active and busy facilities. The DRI grant is enabling the Village to upgrade facilities and address the diverse needs of our community, which continue to increase and expand. We are grateful for the support of Governor Cuomo and the NYS Departments of State and Home and Community Renewal for providing the resources necessary to assist us in these efforts.”
HCR is currently administering four projects totaling $3.6M in the Long Island region. Three in Westbury, including the community center, and one in Islip which was a DRI winner in Round 3.
Westbury was named a DRI Round 1 winner. In addition to the Community Center upgrades, Westbury is implementing six other projects proposed as part of the Strategic Investment Plan. Westbury is one of the most diverse and well-located communities on Long Island. Westbury's revived downtown, prime location, affordable housing options, walkability and arts/culture activities provide a strong basis for the Village's continued growth. Under the DRI, Westbury is well positioned to advance its existing smart growth and transit-oriented development initiatives while increasing the vibrancy of the downtown area with enhanced arts, culture, and dining opportunities.
About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
In 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a major new initiative—the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Through the DRI, the Governor moved to aggressively accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment in all ten regions of the state. The DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative plan-to-act strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation.
In the first four years of the DRI, the State has committed $400 million to invest in downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity, and opportunity. Participating communities are nominated by the state's ten Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown's potential for transformation, and each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community's vision for revitalization. The DRI is chaired by New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. Communities receive support from private sector experts and a team of state agency staff led by the Department of State in close partnership with Empire State Development, and NYS Homes and Community Renewal. Other agencies are also involved in reviewing and implementing projects.