Marge Becker’s dream of a Valley Community Recreation Center is about to become a dream come true for the Village of Middleburgh and all of Schoharie County.
In a Capital Campaign that went live Monday, Ms. Becker, the Marge and Randy Becker Foundation, and the MIDTEL family launched plans to build an $8.5 million athletic facility, complete with a pool, full-size gym, walking track, and more adjacent to Middleburgh Central School and the Middleburgh Library.
“It’s been my grandmother’s dream to do something like this for years,” said Jim Becker. “It’s morphed at times, but now we’re kicking things off. It’s something she hopes will be transformative…”
Especially the pool.
“That’s one of my grandmother’s conditions,” Mr. Becker said with a laugh. “The pool. She’s 96 and she wants to be able to swim in it. So things being what they are, it’s on the fast track.”
The facility will be about 34,000 square feet, built on land donated by Ms. Becker with space for parking provided by the village and the school.
In addition to the regulation-size pool and gym, there will be a whirlpool and saunas, fitness and aerobics center, spin room locker rooms, and a Kids’ Corner.
Mr. Becker said the Valley CRC has been designed with the goal of turning it into a YMCA, something that will ensure its sustainability over the long-term.
“We’ve spent a lot of time visiting different YMCAs and the Clark Center in Cooperstown and we’re convinced this is the way to go,” he said.
“In a way, building it is the easy part…we want to make sure it’s here for a long time.”
Plans call for possible groundbreaking as soon as next year, but that’s also dependent on the success of the Capital Campaign, Mr. Becker said.
The bulk of the construction costs will need to be raised through donations committed over a three-to-five-year period.
“We definitely need help,” Mr. Becker said. “We’re going after grants, but they won’t cover everything. And small donations are just as valuable as large ones because they add up quickly.”
Information on the project and contributions as available at TheValleyCRC.org or by emailing or calling Mr. Becker at Jim@midtel.net or (518) 827-5211.