ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local non-profit’s donation to a recreation center in Albany brought major upgrades and more opportunities for the community to find productive ways to spend their time. A portion of the $250,000 donation from Business for Good will keep kids cool during the hot summer months.
“It was terribly hot,” Jamil Hood, Founder of Hoods House of Hoops said as he stood in the recreation center’s gym, “so when they included that HVAC system, that was the cherry on the top.”
The donation from the Saratoga-based non-profit also funded leaky ceiling repairs, fresh paint and carpeting, a new pool table, and upgraded bathrooms and security systems.
Hood wants to next add a recording studio, so local aspiring rappers can have a safe spot to lay down some tracks.
“This is all a dream through the Frank Chapman Memorial Institute, led by Norma Chapman,” Hood explained, “and she’s had this place, I want to say nine or 10 years.”
The Frank Chapman Memorial Institute is located on First Street.
“Bullet holes were in the windows, people were getting shot, people have gotten killed on this street,” Norma Chapman told NEWS10. “When Business for Good came in, they sat down with us and they said, ‘what do you guys need?’ I said, ‘what do we need?’ I don’t know, I’ve never really been asked that question.”
Jahkeen Hoke, CEO of Business for Good, grew up in Albany’s South End. He said “red x’s” on buildings and other blighted sights can bring down youth and community morale, so fixing up the rec center is a step toward a better mindset.
“To see some thing that is preserved, looks new, fresh,” Hoke said, “there’s a joy that comes with it, but there’s also an ability to look beyond the certain circumstances you may be in.”
The Frank Chapman Memorial Institute has a number of program offerings for both children and seniors.