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Huntington Town gets $50G more for armory transformation

The $10M James D. Conte Center will be named after the late assemblyman who was committed to turning the Huntington Station facility into a community center.

The property at the former New York State

The property at the former New York State Armory in Huntington Station, seen here Dec. 21, 2016, is now home to the Conte Community Center. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

Town of Huntington officials will receive more state funds to complete the transformation of a former armory site in Huntington Station into a community center.

Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said the town will receive $50,000 in grant funding under the State and Municipal Facilities Capital Program for the James D. Conte Center named for the assemblyman who served the hamlet for 24 years.

“We’re in the phase of expanding and renovating the building, so the money will go into a general fund for that,” said Lupinacci, who considers Conte one of his mentors.

The State and Municipal Facilities Capital Program was created in 2013 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo with a goal of including payment of the capital costs of construction, improvement, rehabilitation or reconstruction of facilities owned by eligible entities.

The town’s 2018 capital budget allots $3.75 million for the first phase of construction of the building. Town officials have budgeted $10 million for the project, which includes a $1.5 million state grant.

The town board voted 5-0 at its meeting last Tuesday to accept the $50,000.

The concept design plans of the exterior and the proposed floor plan for the interior of the building were unveiled during the Thanksgiving weekend at the armory at 100 E. Fifth Ave.

Plans include an outdoor theater and bench seating. Interior plans call for an exercise area with workout machines, rock wall climbing and full-size basketball court; rooms for arts and crafts; a recording studio; a 100-seat multipurpose meeting room; a meeting room for the Greenlawn American Legion; and a kitchen and cafe.

Jim McGoldrick, a third-generation Huntington Station resident, said he is pleased about the ongoing progress to renovate and upgrade the building, which is greatly needed by the children and seniors in the community.

“There’s a lot of money needed to fix the building to bring it up to the standard that we want, and every penny counts,” McGoldrick said. “Fifty-thousand dollars is a great contribution.”

Conte was elected to the Assembly in 1988 to represent Huntington Station, rising to the post of minority leader pro tem, the Republicans’ second-ranking post. He died in 2012 of T-cell lymphoma. While in office he made a top priority of getting the armory transferred to the town to be used as a community center.

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