Greenpoint YMCA unveils updated fitness, spin rooms, renovated gymnasium
Grant from Greenpoint Landing Associates Helps Bring Century Old Plant into 21st Century
“When I was a kid,” Frank Carbone, vice chairman of the board for the Greenpoint YMCA, told the group gathered on the freshly lacquered gymnasium floor, “we came here, to this Y.
“There wasn’t any buzzer on the door, so we’d just sneak in past the desk. We thought we were getting away with murder, but the director knew every single time … One time he caught me trying to sneak out. He told me to bring my friends back — we could form our own basketball team in the Y gym if I’d volunteer to do one thing for the Greenpoint YMCA.
“And I’ve been working on their behalf ever since,” he concluded to applause.
Greenpoint YMCA Board Chairman Paul Pullo concurred: “I played here as a kid. And I’m very happy to get the chance to see it this way.”
“This way” referred to the freshly renovated gymnasium, fitness room and spin center — the latter two fitted with the latest in technology, the former boasting new flooring, basketball hoops, scoreboard, benches, light fixtures and newly padded walls — thanks largely to a $250,000 grant from North Brooklyn waterfront developer Greenpoint Landing Associates.
“It’s important to give something back to the community,” explained Marian Klein, senior vice president of the Park Tower Group, of which Greenpoint Landing Associates is an affiliate. “And the YMCA is the center of the community here.”
Indeed, just a few weeks prior to the gymnasium unveiling on Oct. 25, families camped out along Messerole Avenue and Lorimar Street to secure spots in the YMCA’s vaunted and reasonably priced daycare program.
The new fitness room, though not large, doesn’t have that cramped feeling that some do, leaving you to fear a poke in the eye from your neighbor’s next arm curl. The equipment gleams and looks state-of-the-art. Nearby, the spin room is lighted with ultraviolet lights from above; new mirrors line three walls and a high-definition screen provides visual sustenance for spinners.
“Our next destinations will be in the Bronx,” Sharon Greenberger, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York, said. “There’s only one location there now, so clearly we need a greater presence there.”
Moments later, kids in YMCA’s daycare program filed in to participate in the ribbon cutting.
After the ribbon was sliced and the speeches delivered, someone came up with a basketball. There in the gym, with hoops on either end and a freshly polished floor, it came as no surprise when jackets were quickly doffed — a few shucked their footwear as well — and people filled the free-throw area with attempts to make a basket.
All present were pretty decisively out of shape — and in the interests of full journalistic disclosure, this Brooklyn Eagle correspondent, one of the taller individuals on hand, failed even to hit the rim. Finally, one time St. Joseph College basketball coach Frank Carbone scored to hearty applause.
Only one other basket was actually made, appropriately enough by Greenberger.
In addition to fitness, spin, gym sports and daycare, the Greenpoint YMCA also offers an indoor pool, a runners club based in nearby McCarren Park, fitness classes with personal trainers and guest room in locations all over North Brooklyn.
“This is so important to the community,” Assemblymember for the 50th District Joe Lentol explained, after shooting a few baskets himself. “It’s important to keep active, and the YMCA is the center of that.”
“The whole thing took about three months,” Greenpoint YMCA Executive Director Kendall Charter said, after presiding over the afternoon like a benign paterfamilias.
“Greenpoint Landing Associates, under the leadership of Park Tower Group founder George Klein and Senior Vice President Marian Klein, made it happen. And we’ll always be very grateful.”