Seventy-two people are out of a job and parents are scrambling to find childcare as the Cohoes Community Center closed its doors Friday evening.
The nonprofit is nearly half a million dollars in debt, and it’s the seniors and children who are paying the price.
Cohoes Community Center regulars arrived for their daily exercise Friday and were turned away.
“Very, very disappointed to hear the news,” said Patricia Whalen, a member.
It’s not just seniors – 29 toddlers in daycare as well as about 100 kids who get before and after school care will have nowhere to go.
“Shocked, I mean you know my granddaughter comes down to the daycare,” said Luella Dozois.
Cohoes Superintendent Jennifer Spring says the 150 three and four year olds enrolled in pre-K will be taken care of by the district..
“This program will continue, it is grant funded and our district is completely and absolutely committed,” she said.
Assemblyman John McDonald says the community center is more than $450,000 in debt and can’t even afford to pay its 72 employees for their last week of work causing plenty of anger and frustration.
“I grew up there, I know it and that being said, you have to move on,” he said.
McDonald says the center’s executive director was asked to resign when the board learned of the financial failures last month. He says there’s no criminal investigation underway that he knows of.
“I think there’s a lot of people thinking it’s closed and that’s the end, it’s not,” said Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse.
Morse says he’s committed to finding a way to get the doors back open and continue what has been 47 years of servicing the community.
The United Church of Cohoes is asking for donations to help the employees who went home empty handed.