Renovations were to begin Wednesday to make American Legion Post 694 in Northport Village more accessible to aging veterans.
Most of the Northport Legion membership fought in the Korean War, and are reaching their 70s and older, said chairman Jim Mahoney. The $1.17 million renovation will add an elevator, in addition to other minor updates. Town of Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and Rep. Steve Israel were expected to join legion members Wednesday to kick off the construction.
Legion Post 694 was built almost entirely by veterans who came home to Long Island in the 1950s, said Mahoney, who was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. But the building has not had any major renovations in the past three decades, he said.
“It’s an aging building, and it needs upgrades,” Cuthbertson said. “They are an integral part of the Northport community.”
The improvements are being funded by federal grant money — $800,000 secured by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and $250,000 by Israel (D-Huntington) — and a $78,000 community development block grant from the Town of Huntington, Cuthbertson said.
Besides adding an elevator, the main entrance will be moved to another side, off a parking lot. Other smaller fixes will include updating the air-conditioning, wiring and bathrooms, Mahoney said.
“We’ll have a more accessible building for our veterans, and for the many civic causes that we support throughout the year,” he said.