2007-09-07 / Community

'Y'Pool To Take Center Stage At Sept.10 Meeting

By Brian Magoolaghan

The lap pool in the proposed design for the YMCAat Arverne By The Sea is expected to take center stage at the Monday, September 10 community board meeting.

Members of Community Board 14 will hear a report from the Land Use Committee and decide whether or not they will ask the developers of the new Y to hold off submitting their plans, so that additional fundraising can take place.

The Wave reported last week that board members seem likely to ask for 60 days to solicit the Mayor's Office and Federal elected officials for about $2 million to $3 million in funds, so that the proposed four-lane lap pool can be expanded to six lanes. Existing plans for the 32,000 square-foot, $13 million facility, show a 25-yard-long, 30-footwide, four-lane lap pool that has a depth range of 3 to 9 feet. It shares a 8,755 square-foot area with an irregularly shaped aquatic center.

The developers say the proposed pools are appropriate for the community's needs; local critics say four lanes are not enough and it's cheaper to fix that problem now; and the critics' critics say that the proposed plans should move forward so that this pool doesn't dry up like other promised pools have in the past.

Dan Tubridy, an Arverne By The Sea homeowner who has in the past proved to be a formidable community activist, has thrown his support behind a larger pool. "We need more than a four-lane pool and a tented gym," he says in a paid ad on page 36 of this newspaper. He urges "The Rockaways to be heard" by attending Monday's community board meeting, where members of the public can sign up for speaking time.

Tubridy expressed disappointment when he learned of an editorial on page 4 of this week's Wave that says halting the Y's developers may jeopardize the project. Tubridy's brother, Michael Tubridy, who sits on CB14's Land Use Committee and has also been a vocal proponent of a larger pool sent a plea to City Councilman James Sanders Jr., who represents part of Rockaway, calling on him to work with the mayor on a bigger facility. A copy of that letter appears on page 98.

At the moment, the developers - the YMCA of Greater New York and Benjamin/Beechwood, developers of Arverne By The Sea, say they want to start construction later this year and have the facility open to the public in 2009. Representatives from both have kept quiet about the resistance to their proposed plans, and it was not clear if they would attend the community board meeting.

Architectural drawings for the Y, which were first made public last month, also show 2,000 square feet of multi-purpose space, 1,730 square feet of administrative space, 1,695 square feet of lounge and lobby space and a 945 square-foot child care area on the first floor. There will also be more than 3,700 square feet of locker space in three separate areas for men, women and families.

The second floor will feature a 6,000 square-foot area with wellness equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bicycles and weights. There's also a 1,200 squarefoot space marked as an aerobic studio. There is no gymnasium. A basketball court, which may be tented, will be outside the building. A Y representative said that, due to budget restraints, the courts would have to be enclosed in a possible future expansion. A little league baseball field is also slated for the northern end of the property, which will first act as the construction staging area. The outdoor parking lot currently calls for 67 spaces.

Community Board 14 meets at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 333 Beach 90 Street, on Monday, September 10 at 7:45 p.m. The board traditionally meets on the second Tuesday night of each month in its session; the meeting was rescheduled so as not to fall on September 11.

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