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Schenectady community center seeks funding solutions

SCHENECTADY -- A small group gathered Tuesday evening to suggest ways Carver Community Center can better serve Hamilton Hill residents when its able to open. The center abruptly closed last month after its leader said it ran into financial problems.

Carvers financial consultant Al Jackson had previously estimated Carver owed $130,000 to the Internal Revenue Service and about $150,000 to vendors, but said Tuesday the debt may be more.

Carver is still an incorporated body. We are not dead as even we may have thought. We can still provide activities. There are things we have to fix with the IRS and we're laying out a schedule and a plan to do that, said Carver Chairwoman Lola Cole.

Cole said because of the tax debt, Carver lost its non-profit status with the IRS. The board hopes to find a non-profit partner to help run the center and its programs.

It just seemed like something you didn't think would ever happen like it was bigger than life, like it would always be there, said Donna Evans, a resident who attended Carver as a child. That was the best place to meet all my friends, you get out of school at Mont Pleasant and go across the bridge and first place you used to went was Carver. Everybody gathered at Carver.

Several residents hoped Carver would expand its tutoring services and partner with the dozen churches in the area to expand its reach. Jackson hoped they could reopen in several months, but no official timeline had been established.

Sometimes you kind of forget that things dont operate on air anymore. Theres no rich person in the background saying don't worry I got it, said Evans. They're not there so it's got to be us. Im optimistic.

 
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