For years, the building's doors were bricked up and covered in graffiti (Photos by Alma Watkins)
This morning, community leaders and local residents attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club's new community center.
The Frederic R. & Margaret Coudert Clubhouse is located in the long-vacant Hebrew Institute Yeshiva building at 1835 University Ave., just north of West Tremont Avenue.
Those present included Adolfo Carrion, the former Bronx borough president who now works for the Obama administration in Washington, DC. It was Carrion who, as district manager of Community Board 5 in the early 1990s, first started advocating for a community center in the building.
As a city councilman in the late '90s, he got Kips Bay involved and, over the years, provided millions of dollars in funding.
Still, it's been a long road - nothing came easy, and the years dragged out.
According to Alma, the photograher who took these photos, Carrion was tearing up a little during his speech. He said he couldn't put into words how much it meant to him to see the renovation complete.
The four-story center boasts a gymnasium, a game room, and a computer room, among other things, and will serve hundreds of local children every day after school.
“We just felt that it was an underserved part of the community,” Daniel Quintero, Kips Bay's executive director, previously told the Mount Hope Monitor. “We all have our talent within and what I think the Boys Girls Club does is that we tap into it and nourish it and bring it out.”
We'll have more about the new clubhouse in the next issue of the Monitor.
Adolfo Carrion, the former Bronx BP, was one of the driving forces behind the project