Niagara Falls residents continue push to bring a community center back in the neighborhood

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(Niagara Falls, N.Y) WIVB – People in Niagara Falls say they need a community center in the Northern part of the city. Now city leaders are one step closer to making that happen.

Talks for a new community center in Niagara Falls have gone on for years, after the old facility closed its doors more than a decade ago. City leaders point out, this time there’s progress being made.

“Being able for the community to see progress, to see something that gives them a sense of ownership and pride and just a place where they can be together, it’s just so important for community building,” said Denise Easterling, President of the New Niagara Community Center Board.

The city will be tearing down the old community center, located on Centre Ave and Aaron Griffin Way. The place has not been used in more than 10 years and has become an eye sore in the neighborhood.

Community Center board members say the facility was a fundamental part of the area. Members say fixing up the old location would not have been an option because it lacked the structure and space the community needs.

Boards members also say it will be a long process until a new center is built, but this is a good step.

In 2018, during the city’s budgeting process, the community voted for the city to create a new North-end community center.

City leaders say they’re able to tear down the old site thanks, in part, to a $120,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Demolition on the old site will begin on Thursday. As for a location for a new community center, city officials say they are looking into three possible locations and have not picked an exact spot just yet.

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