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Mount Vernon Community Center Plans Expansion

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon's Haven Community Center (HCC) will renovate its bathrooms and computer lab early in September as part of what it hopes will lead to further expansion.

Executive Director of the HCC Jimi Orekoya said the community center is aiming to expand its computer labs. Orekoya said that right now 12 students can be accommodated. When the renovation is complete, he said 25 students could be accommodated. Orekoya said that the renovations would also improve accommodations for people in wheelchairs.

“We have an adult day program on Mondays and Tuesdays that we want to expand to five days per week,” Orekoya said. “Right now we have adult literacy and computer literacy classes but we want to expand to include yoga, Zumba, focus groups and even a counseling center.”

The HCC has been in the building at 403 E. 3rd Ave. for a year. The building, built in 1947, is 5,000 square feet on a campus of 23,000 square feet, which also contains an HVAC business. Previously, the building was a bank and a deposit safe.

Orekoya said he would like to expand the HCC upwards and possibly construct additional floors for programming. Currently, the HCC uses the bottom floor of a two-story building. Another long-term plan would be to have a facility for day care five days per week. If a day care facility were built, Orekoya said that 30 families could be accommodated.

“The project would cost $300,000,” Orekoya said. “We have close to $100,000 so far and are meeting with private donors.”

Orekoya said he didn’t think the HCC would come along as fast as it did since opening last summer. Orekoya credited the community for having a strong desire and passion to work with people.

“There was stuff that we didn’t expect to happen for four or five years that we got done in one,” Orekoya said.

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