A state-of-the-art center for kids run by a former Nickelodeon president is being proposed in the Hudson Valley.

The project is something sorely needed in the Hudson Valley; a 24-hour Child Development Center that includes an indoor pool, gymnasium and fitness center, and wellness services. The Center also would house an apprentice teacher training program that will serve up to 200 local early childhood teachers and daycare workers.

The ambitious plan took a huge step forward this week when Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Dutchess County Executive, Marc Molinaro, entered into an agreement in principle to have the county take ownership of the former YMCA site at 35 Montgomery Street in Poughkeepsie.

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The plan is to transfer ownership of the dilapidated three-acre property to the county for just $10. That would allow Dutchess to put $25 million in municipal bonding towards razing the existing building and erecting a new, state-of-the-art center.

The YMCA will be a part of a coalition tasked with operating the multi-use facility that will serve as a "hub for educational and recreational resources for all Dutchess County residents." Summer camps, swimming lessons and other community-based programs will all run out of the proposed center.

Day One, a non-profit group run by former Nickelodeon president, Geraldine Laybourne, has been tapped to run the 24-hour child development center. Laybourne says the project will not only benefit current residents of Dutchess County, but has the potential to encourage others to relocate to the area.

Nothing does more for kids than investing in high-quality early education. Along with training and placing early childhood teachers and ensuring children have affordable early childhood education, DAY ONE will empower parents to enter or re-enter the workforce and will encourage young families to stay in or re-locate to Dutchess County.

The first phase of the project would transform the property into a community green space while plans for the youth center are being developed. Rolison has called a special meeting for March 3 where a special presentation about the proposed agreement with Dutchess County will be submitted to the Common Council.

Abandoned Buildings Of The Hudson Valley

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