Marlborough community center is officially open

By Rob Sample
Posted 6/19/24

In a ceremony marked by the well-wishes of elected state officials, the Town of Marlborough cut the ribbon on its reborn Community Center on Wednesday afternoon, June 12.


Town …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Marlborough community center is officially open

In a ceremony marked by the well-wishes of elected state officials, the Town of Marlborough cut the ribbon on its reborn Community Center on Wednesday afternoon, June 12.
Town Supervisor Scott Corcoran noted that the ribbon cutting marked the culmination of a 16-year process, which began when the Town of Marlborough Volunteer Ambulance Corps (TOMVAC) ceased operations in 2008 and donated its headquarters to the town for a dollar. While town leaders initially debated its use, a townwide referendum determined, by a 60 to 40 vote, its future as the Marlborough Community Center.
“A lot of people in our community participated in building this facility,” said Corcoran. “Without them it wouldn’t have happened. Our town Highway Department probably saved you, the taxpayers, $300,000 to $500,000 through the work they did. They do it because they love our community. Give these guys a round of applause.”
State Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson pointed out that in addition to being the result of funding from a variety of government sources, the project represented the power of bipartisan cooperation. “You had two different administrations [in Marlborough] – a Democrat and a Republican,” said Jacobson, who presented Corcoran with a state Certificate of Merit to mark the occasion. “But it didn’t make any difference. They got the job done. That shows what kind of town Marlborough is. This is a great occasion. I’m looking forward to coming to a lot of events here, and I am sure it’s going to get a lot of use.”
“You can tell that this building was put together with love, so to everyone who had a hand in it, every family member of everyone who had a hand in it, thank you,” said State Senator Michelle Hinchey, who also presented Corcoran with a certificate to mark the occasion. “Every community needs a central hub where people can come together – for the seniors’ groups, the Boy Scouts troops, whatever it might be, this is what makes our small towns so special. Seeing everyone come together over the many years to get this done is a really inspiring, beautiful thing. Thank you for your commitment to your work, to your town, and to your neighbors.”
Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger was unable to attend the ribbon cutting and was represented by her Chief of Staff, Johanna Contreras. “I want to congratulate you all for a job well done,” said Contreras. “It really is a beautiful Community Center and I understand it’s been a long time coming. I look forward to being part of many events here in the future. I understand it’s going to be the hub of the senior citizens group: We’ve spoken to our director of aging, and we really hope to be able to bring some events here for you all. So, thank you and congratulations.” 
Quite a few of the attendees at the ceremony were residents who had fond memories of the building’s service to the town’s ambulance corps during the 40 years it was in existence. In fact, both residents and elected officials often, by habit, refer to the structure as the “TOMVAC building,” employing a long-used acronym for Town of Marlborough Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Local accountant Ralph Walters helped to launch the organization in 1968, when he first returned home after college. “Milo Hepworth [a local farmer and landowner] had left the town $4,000 on the condition that it start a volunteer ambulance company,” Walters recalled. “We then formed a large enough group to form the corps. I went on my first ambulance call in 1969.”
“Our first ambulance was parked in the driveway of my parents, Thomas and Bernadette Polizzi,” recalled Mici Simonofsky, a former Town Board member who now chairs the town’s Conservation Advisory Committee (CAC). “I was on the Town Board when we had to make the difficult decision on what to do with the Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the TOMVAC building.”
Simonofsky pointed out that the numbers of volunteers had dwindled in the later years, particularly during nights and weekends when it received most of its calls. As a result, the town began hiring paid ambulance services to fill in the gaps in coverage. There were also changes in insurance mandates and certification requirements that made it difficult for the organization to remain in operation.
Once TOMVAC was disbanded, both Simonofsky and Walters were active in the petition drive to get a referendum on the local ballot, in which Marlborough voters favored turning the TOMVAC building into the town’s Community Center. 
“The people of Marlborough decided to keep the building because it had good bones,” noted former Town Supervisor Al Lanzetta. Scott’s done a wonderful job – this place looks beautiful!”
How to Rent a Room
The Community Center has two large meeting rooms – a North Room and a South Room. The first is 3,250 square feet in size, has an adjacent kitchen, and has the capacity for 215 people seated at tables (or 400 people in just chairs). The South Room seats 155 people at tables, or 280 people in just chairs. The kitchen is available only for those who use the North Room; the South Room is equipped with a dry bar. 
The resident rate for rentals is $650 for either room. Both smoking and alcohol consumption are prohibited. Both rooms are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible, and audiovisual hookups are available in both rooms. The exterior can be used for recreational activities such as cornhole and frisbee. Go to the Town website or contact (845) 332-4270 for more details.