Long Island’s LGBT Network and U.S. Green Building Council-Long Island Chapter held a groundbreaking Friday for an 18,000-square-foot eco-friendly community center in Patchogue.
The groundbreaking was held at the LGBT Network’s newly acquired Patchogue facility at 7 Crossways Blvd in the Gateway Shopping Center. The new center is replacing what was an 8,000-square-foot building that stood vacant for 7 years.
The LGBT Network will invest $5 million to renovate and outfit the facility and will create 24 full-time jobs staffing the facility.
“The new facility will increase the capacity of the LGBT Network to provide a wide range of brand-new health and social services that will meet the growing needs and transform life for LGBT Long Islander’s for generations,” said David Kilmnick, CEO of the LGBT Network.
The LGBT Network received a $500,000 New York State Regional Economic Development Council Award and a $500,000 matching capital grant from the Calamus Foundation to create this new 18,000 square-foot facility, the network’s fifth location.
This center will be the first in the region to provide a wide range of essential services addressing healthcare, social services and other critical programs for what officials described as a growing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community on Long Island.
“With two dozen new full-time job opportunities along with the full array of health and human services and arts and cultural programs, Long Island will become one of the more desirable places for LGBT people to live and raise and their families,” Kilmnick said.
The center will also “return a long-vacant building to use, and provide a welcoming space for Long Island’s growing LGBT community,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. The project also aligns with the LIREDC’s commitment to “cleaner, greener communities as well as regional sustainability, Zemsky said.
The facility will address a range of LGBT community needs and include a health center, runaway and homeless services including showers and laundry machines, free clothing for people in need, and a computer center to support a workforce development program.
It will also have gallery space, conference and meeting rooms, mental health counseling rooms, landscaped outdoor meditation space, and a children’s playground.
Working with the U.S. Green Building Council Long Island’s chapter, the facility will incorporate eco-friendly materials and technologies, including geothermal heating and cooling, solar energy, storm water harvesting, charge stations for electric vehicles and more.