Town and Boys and Girls Club Niagara Pursue Potential Partnership for EJ Freeland Center Opportunity

MEDIA RELEASE (July 18, 2019) The Town of Fort Erie is happy to announce that if YMCA Niagara accepts the Town’s offer to acquire the EJ Freeland Center for $1 it will be partnering with Boys and Girls Club Niagara (BGCN) to provide programs and services to the Fort Erie community.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Boys and Girls Club Niagara. They offer a number of critical programs and services that are important to the health and growth of our Town,” said Mayor Redekop.

Following the announcement of the Fort Erie YMCA closure, BGCN met with the Town of Fort Erie about a potential partnership between the two organizations in order to continue programs and services at the EJ Freeland Center. As a result of these discussions, the Town proposed acquiring the building, with BGCN to be responsible for managing and operating the services and programs being offered at the facility through a long-term lease.

“Our current programs primarily target children and youth; however, there is opportunity to expand our offerings to include adult programs by partnering with other local organizations,” said Joanne Turner, Executive Director, BGCN. “The goal would be to retain as many employees as possible, seek external sources of funding for programming and capital improvements, and provide daycare services, which we are currently in the process of pursuing.”

On June 12, the Town of Fort Erie sent the YMCA Board of Directors an official offer to purchase the building and its contents for $1, the same amount the building was transferred to the YMCA Niagara in 2008. The YMCA was given until June 28 to accept the offer. To date, the YMCA has not responded to the offer nor has it provided any of the background documents that have been requested by the Town.

“We are trying to work with YMCA Niagara to ensure there is no gap in services being offered to our residents from the facility,” said Mayor Redekop. “Each week that passes makes it more likely that the building will be empty and unused for a period of time. That is not ideal, nor is it in the best interests of the residents of Fort Erie and current YMCA members.”

More information regarding this topic will be provided by the Town of Fort Erie once it becomes available.

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3 thoughts on “Town and Boys and Girls Club Niagara Pursue Potential Partnership for EJ Freeland Center Opportunity

  1. Peter Ruch

    Thank you for the update. It sounds like a solid plan. I have been a supporter of the YMCA since 1976, even before the YMCA building was built. I support the efforts being put forward to save our community center.

    Peter Ruch

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