UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – It was announced earlier this morning that after purchasing the former YWCA building on Cornelia Street last year, the Utica Center for Development has big plans in the works.

“A stronger, healthier tomorrow, begins today,” said Reverend Dr. Mary Webster.

Reverend Dr. Mary Webster helped open this morning’s ceremony which was held to announce the many exciting changes coming to the former YWCA.

Reverend Webster worked alongside the Utica Center for Development, as well as city officials, to bring this idea to fruition.

“It’s been a long and tedious journey, so to speak, but I feel really elated about knowing that something is getting ready to happen,” said Reverend Webster.

And that’s not the only renovation that will be happening at the former YWCA – it will also include a new addition on the back of the building for a fitness center, and the first floor will be used for offices, and afterschool youth programs such as the “Wilson’s Cops & Kids Youth Boxing Program.”

“We’ll have exercise programs, swimming programs, designed especially for them,” said Reverend Webster. “You know, so that’s what I’m ecstatic about – having someplace for our youth to go.”

And the building will also provide housing for our area’s veterans and their families.

“We also need more space for veteran housing,” said Vincent Scalise, Exec. Director, Utica Center for Development. “So, the rest of the building will be transformed into more housing for veterans in need.”

And the one renovation everyone is most looking forward to? The indoor swimming pool.

And former Utica resident Adrene Moran, who actually learned how to swim in this very pool as a child, is exceptionally excited for its return.

“They closed our senior exercise pool at Faxton Hospital a few years ago, and so seniors have nowhere to go where the water’s warm enough to exercise,” said New Hartford resident, Adrene Moran.

“So, we are so pleased with Reverend Webster to push this, and we’re anxiously waiting for this pool to open up for us to exercise in again.”