A non-profit that provides services to hundreds of Staten Islanders with special needs celebrated a major milestone Tuesday. NY1's Aaron Dickens filed the following report.
The brand new pool at On Your Mark is officially open and many can't wait to take their first dip.
“It's fun. We love it,” said John Glotzer, a consumer and maintenance worker at the non-profit’s Silver Lake site.
He made sure the pool was clean and ready to go for Tuesday’s grand opening. On Your Mark provides a variety of job programs and services for more than 700 Staten Islanders with special needs in the borough. The building opened its doors in the 1920s.
“We decided that we wanted to do a total restoration of the building,” said John Bilotti, the Executive Director of On Your Mark. “Some of the walls were starting to crumble on the pool and on the deck. It was time.”
The $700,000 renovation of the pool and locker room took about a year. The Staten Island Foundation and Assemblyman Matthew Titone allocated funds for the project. The pool will be used by swim teams, boy scouts and nearly a 100 On Your Mark clients that come to the site.
“Its great entertainment for them,” said Titone. “Physical activity, mental health.”
“This is a dream that is coming true this idea of an all-inclusive facility,” Betsy Dubovsky with the Staten Island Foundation added.
The facility resembles a high end health club with a fun twist. There are LED lights with a variety of colors and settings that can all be controlled by an iPad.
That’s just one of many fun ways Glotzer says helps the community come together.
“We want to keep busy,” Glotzer said. “Don't watch TV at home. Keep working hard.”