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YWCA Receives Grant For Renovation of Exterior of Historic 1869 Building – Includes ADA and Safety Improvements

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The YWCA of Cortland has been awarded a grant from the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservations Environmental Protection Fund: Parks, Preservation and Heritage Grants in the amount of $444,484.


The grant will be used to renovate the historic exterior of the YWCA’s 1869 building while also improving the accessibility of the ramp to the building, which was constructed back in 1930.

X101 News was able to speak with YWCA of Cortland Executive Director, Kelly Tobin on the renovation plans, but also on the amount of hard work that went into writing the grant. Earlier this year, the YWCA sent out a survey to members of the community as part of their grant application to the state.

“It feels amazing and really absolutely aligns with our goal of our maintenance group, who has been working very hard on capital planning and looking at how we sustain this building for the next 100 years.” Tobin said to X101 News regarding the state announcing the YWCA being awarded the grant.

She continued on saying this will give the YWCA an opportunity to “re-beautify” the building and bring it back to its original historic nature. Tobin also says this is a major opportunity for the organization to enhance its accessibility into the building as well.

Work will include a new ramp that will be fully ADA compliant for patrons, with handicap parking accessibility located right next to the ramp.

“Restoring our emergency exits so there is no more crumbling brick or rusty doors and restoring our main Osborne Room entrance to its normal historic value.” Tobin continued on regarding the amount of safety improvements for the building.

The amount of effort though to get to this point, was hours of research, and input from both professionals and the community.

“We have amazing volunteers who have worked really hard to help us put this grant application together.” Tobin said to X101 News on the work on the application for the grant itself. “We really have amazing women who work[ed] tirelessly behind the scenes from a staff perspective and a volunteer perspective.”

Part of the application was a write up done by Andrea Rankin of the history of the historic building on Clayton Ave. She included where the needs are for the building and included pictures in the application. Tobin also expressed her sincere gratitude for all the volunteers who helped with research and writing the grant. They are: Merle McKown, Angela Loh, Andrea Rankin, Sue Sherman-Broyles, Alice & Charlie Anderson, Nancy Kroot, Mary Ellen Bloodgood, and Julie Ryan.

When work will begin will depend on when the contract with the state is finalized, Tobin said to X101 News, but noted the YWCA has a great roadmap on where to begin for the work. She says she is confident in being able to execute the amount of work needed quickly.

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