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Federal Funds Announced for Proposed New Cassel Community Center

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Viviana Russell recently joined U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and a cadre of local and state elected officials to host a community briefing to announce a $892,000 North Hempstead grant award to help meet capital costs for the proposed New Cassel Community Center.

 “This all started with a visioning process where this community made it clear what they wanted from government,” said Kaiman. “They wanted a Main Street with a pharmacy, a bank, and a supermarket. They also wanted more housing and a community center. I would like to thank Senator Gillibrand for walking the walk with us.”

“It is indeed a dream about to come true and a heartfelt blessing to see every level of government committing to make something like this happen,” said Russell.

The funding was obtained by Gillibrand through the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which the upstate New York-native helped pass into law last year.

 “We are only too aware of people’s concerns about losing jobs so we are trying to bring resources to the community through projects like this,” said Gillibrand. “This is something we can all fight for,” she said, noting that state Assemblyman Charles Lavine and state Senator Craig Johnson acquired $200,000 each in grants for the project.

Slated to break ground late this year, the planned New Cassel community center will be one of the first LEED Platinum-rated community centers in the nation. The 50,000 square-foot state-of-the-art structure will incorporate a television broadcast studio, two regulation-sized basketball courts, multipurpose rooms, a fitness center, dance studio, performing space with stage, game room, senior lounge and administrative offices.

The funding acquired Gillibrand was the latest in a series of awards the Town of North Hempstead has cobbled together to help pay for the multi-million dollar community center, a dream residents have nurtured for more than 40 years.