Tenant to rename facility “The MAC” and host programs for veterans’ housing residents and local youth athletes.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was joined by veterans and active-duty military that reside at the Mitchel Field Veteran Housing Community, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and others to officially hand over keys to Mitchel Field’s Navy Gym to NY Youth Sports Network (NYYSN), the property’s new tenant. NYYSN, a nonprofit that specializes in the advancement and development of children through sports, particularly in disadvantaged communities, has committed to operating and transforming the underutilized gym which adjoins the County’s veteran housing community in Uniondale.
At the press event, the County Executive and NYYSN unveiled the gym’s new name: “The MAC” which stands for Mitchel Athletic Center as well as renderings of the property’s planned $2 million makeover – coming at no cost to the County. In addition, NYYSN outlined sports programming for local youth as well as opportunities for veterans and families that live at Mitchel Field, as part of the agreement with the County.
“With this much-needed transformation, we are continuing three important commitments: get neglected County infrastructure in top-notch condition, enhance services for veterans and youth, and keep County finances in check,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “I am confident NY Youth Sports will create an exciting community hub and provide quality opportunities for not only the military families that live at Mitchel Field but for Nassau’s many aspiring youth athletes, particularly in underserved communities.”
“Today’s announcement of funding to refurbish the Mitchell Field Gym is a win-win for many. Upon completion of this project, it will present vast opportunities for at risk children to work together with law enforcement within their neighborhoods,” said Commissioner of Nassau County Police Patrick Ryder. “This will strengthen ties, build lasting relationships, keep our communities strong and will enhance our 40,000 students that are already enrolled in our departments PAL program.”
“A healthy, active community is a happy one. I thank County Executive Curran and NY Youth Sports Network for leading the way on this project to transform the underutilized Mitchel Field’s Navy Gym into the type of community center that Nassau County veterans, their families, and our youth deserve,” said Senator Kevin Thomas.
“Through this partnership, Nassau County is on track to create a new and vibrant community HUB where we can harness the character-building power of sports to enrich the lives of our veterans, our families, and our youth,” Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan M. Abrahams said. “I thank County Executive Curran and all of our community stakeholders for their commitment to transforming the Navy Gym into a facility that will greatly benefit County residents.
"We are excited to develop a state-of-the-art multi-sport facility right in the heart of Nassau County,” said Thomas Rossi, Managing Director of NY Youth Sports Network. “Our shared vision with County Executive Curran will provide adolescents and young adult's a safe environment to participate in a variety of youth sports programs and the opportunity to make friendships and create lasting memories."
Renovations & Contract Details
NYYSN’s commitment includes upgrades to the existing gym, as well as construction of a new field house for additional basketball and classrooms as well as a separate indoor turf field. The property’s transformation will come at no cost to the County and is expected to be complete within 12 months of securing the keys.
The new tenant, NYYSN, will pay the County $100,000 annually and will have the option to extend their 15-year lease an additional five years. The County will also share in naming rights and sponsorship opportunities with the tenants.
Opportunities for Mitchel Field Residents
As part of the agreement, the Curran Administration ensured tangible benefits and job opportunities for the veterans and families that reside on property. Some of those benefits include free use of gym facilities (select hours), free week of summer camp for children under 14, free registration for all in-house leagues for residents under 16, and sports scholarship opportunities for eligible youth athletes.
NYYSN has also committed to using the premises to serve as a hub for their AAU Urban Initiative. Through a variety of programming, the AAU Urban Initiative seeks to develop healthy relationships between local law enforcement and at-risk youth in underserved and minority communities through sports. The initiative has been embraced by the Nassau County Police Department which actively participates in a variety of similar programs with local youth.
“This initiative aligns perfectly with the County’s broader efforts to build relationships and trust with our dedicated law enforcement and children in the communities they serve,” said Curran.
In addition to providing their own slate of sports programming, NYYSN will continue to provide permits for outside groups to use the property.