Image courtesy of the YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County.

LANSING, N.Y. –– As part of New York State’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, the YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County was awarded $1,184,000 to expand its programming through a renovation and expansion of their facility in the Village of Lansing that will accommodate increased availability and higher quality child-care.

“This started several years ago  –– our relationship with the Daycare Council was strong enough to realize that there was a need.” YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County CEO Frank Towner said. “So for the past two years we’ve worked as a board and staff leadership to do all we could to fortify the case that this was a necessity.”

While plans are still up in the air for any construction or renovation at the Lansing clubhouse, CEO Frank Towner said that the new facility will have to include a separate and secure entrance for childcare, and for regular members, a separate childcare activity space and learning space.

Towner said that while the timeline for the project is unclear, at the very least it will take a couple of years.

“My understanding from the other organizations that have received grants like this is that a design will have to be established specifically,” Towner said. “Then you need to raise a certain amount of money to show the state that you have the ability to do the project –– that (alone) can take anywhere from four to six months.”

Towner believes that improved childcare in close proximity to Ithaca will help facilitate out of town workers’ ability to work within Ithaca and Tompkins County.

“People are going to come from Cayuga County past the Y, use the facility as a service provider and go to work and come back,” Towner said. “This site will be able to serve the community much better.”

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com