Village of Monticello, NY...State Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) today announced $200,000 in State and Municipal Facilities Capital grant funding for technology and building improvements at the Monticello Central School District's "Community Hub," located in the building of the former St. John Street School. Senator Metzger made the announcement outside the hub on the front steps this morning, together with Monticello Central School District Superintendent Dr. Matthew Evans, Monticello Board of Education President Lori Orestano-James, newly elected Village of Monticello Mayor George Nikolados, Program Manager of St. John Street Education Center Marty Colavito, and Nicole Slevin from Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County, among others.
The Community Hub opened its doors in the Fall on 2019 at the site of the former school, thanks to support from Cornell Cooperative Extension, Assemblymember Aileen Gunther, the school district, and other partner organizations. The idea is to provide a multigenerational community center, offering programs, services, and recreational and learning opportunities to students, families, and seniors. Daily activities at the Hub have been temporarily suspended due to the pandemic, and the school district and its partners are utilizing this time for planning and building improvements.
Senator Jen Metzger said, "Our kids face many challenges, and if we want to truly give them the opportunities they need to succeed, we have to think about education differently and the kinds of resources we need to make available to students and their families. This is precisely what the Monticello Central School District and community partners are doing through the Monticello Community Hub, and I am thrilled to be able to secure funding for this inspiring project. The idea is to provide a safe space for socializing, recreation, learning new skills, and being creative, and if I had a resource like it as a kid, I would have been there every day."
Monticello Superintendent Dr. Matthew T. Evans said, "This funding will allow us to improve the Hub’s technological capabilities through infrastructure upgrades and increasing the number of available devices. It will also fund the beginning of the structural updates that will enable us to move closer to our ultimate goal of creating a true multi-generational community center that provides resources, activities, medical care and opportunities for all of Monticello’s residents. We are fortunate to be surrounded by local leaders, organizations and agencies who share our belief that by strengthening our community, we strengthen our students’ potential for success in the future. I am grateful for Senator Metzger’s advocacy to secure these funds for our community and excited to work in partnership with these wonderful organizations as we weave a tapestry of resources, services and opportunities to build a brighter future for our community. "
CCE Sullivan Executive Director Colleen Monaghan said, “Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County was proud to stand with our partners at the Monticello Central School District (MCSD), Village of Monticello Mayor George Nikolados, and NYS Senator Jen Metzger, who presented $200,000 in SAM grant funding for the St. John Street School Community Hub. The grant will enhance this space for the positive youth and family development programs that CCE worked in partnership to start. We’re eagerly awaiting the post-pandemic reopening when conditions are safe again.”
Monticello Board of Education President Lori Orestano-James said, "We’re blessed to have this available space that we can use to serve all of the residents of the Monticello Central School District – whether they are infants or senior citizens; whether they live in Bethel, Wurtsboro or anywhere in between. Senator Metzger has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Hub from its inception, and I’m so very grateful for her work in securing the funding that will take us to the next step in this journey to revitalizing this building and providing much-needed services to our community."
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.