EAST MEADOW, NY, July 16. NASSAU County on Long Island, New York, has reached a tentative agreement with the YMCA of Long Island to manage and try to turn around the fortunes of its Goodwill Games aquatic center, according to a story in Long Island's Newsday.
The center, which is losing more than $2 million a year, has been mired in rumor and controversy for over a year.
The deal, approved on Monday, calls for the YMCA to revitalize the tarnished image of the East Meadow center.
While it claims to have the largest swimming pool in the Northern Hemisphere – an unlikely claim – and has hosted several major national and international meets including the 1998 Goodwill Games, much of the facility is unused. Officials complain that the county has reaped only meager benefits from swimming lessons and about 1,200 memberships. According to Newsday, "the YMCA, which will receive 10 percent of the center's gross revenue, has agreed to overhaul programming at the center, with new offerings, including day camps for children, water therapy for seniors and lifeguard training.
"The $300-million aquatic center was built in 1998 for that year's Goodwill Games amid hopes that it would become a centerpiece of the county's recreational offerings.
"County officials now agree that Nassau failed to market the 80,000-square-foot center properly. In November, despite county lobbying, it was left out of the package New York City officials submitted in their bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics."