ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Pastor Charlie Mueller said it wasn’t an easy decision to put the JC Club up for sale.
“It is a sad day that we’re having to do this,” Mueller said.
After a bullet went through the building earlier this summer, he halted programs at the club which have long-served as a spot for neighborhood children.
“It’s just something that has to be done. We just can’t run this facility any longer with the risk of someone losing their life,” Mueller said.
The sale comes as a shock to West Hill neighbors like Jaleeka Woodbury. She said she often goes to events Mueller holds in the community.
“I’m mad that he’s leaving. That’s going to be a big impact on the community,” Woodbury said. “I hope somebody comes in his place and does the same thing he did. Something for these kids that need to stay out of trouble. There’s too much going on in the streets.”
While the absence of the JC Club will leave a void in the West Hill neighborhood, a new community center has been in the works for months. It’s something Councilman Jahmel Robinson ultimately hopes will lead to safer streets.
“We’re making the strategic investments now upstream so that will prevent those other issues downstream,” Robinson said.
In a statement, Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s Chief of Staff David Galin wrote: “Albany is well accustomed to Pastor Charlie closing facilities in the city. As we have in the past – leading to the permanent housing of Youth FX and South End Children’s Café – we will work with dedicated and committed community partners to fill any void that results.”
A location has not been selected for the new community center.