SPRING VALLEY – The Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center in Spring Valley is getting an expansion. Thanks in large parts to the efforts of Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe (D, Nanuet), the center was able to purchase a vacant lot across from the original structure which they plan to convert into a new “green space.”
The expansion will “preserve one of the very few open lots that exist in the community,” according to the center’s Vice President Lisa Kaess, and allow volunteers to provide even more services for the people of Spring Valley.
Thanks to a combination of state funds and private donations, the new green space will soon offer sporting areas, walking paths, and an expanded community garden for Spring Valley residents.
To the specific amount the state will kick in, Jaffee’s office could not say.
For 55 years the Martin Luther King Center has been a pillar of its community providing after school programs, job training initiatives, meeting space for community organizations, and a food pantry that now feeds 1,200 of the village’s at risk residents.
“This is a stepping stone in preserving the history and culture of Spring Valley,” said Willie Trotman, president of the village’s chapter of the NAACP. Trotman, a longtime advocate for the center, thanked Jaffee and the center’s staff for their dedication to the community and “making sure (the youth of Spring Valley) have opportunities my forefathers did not have.”
The center has already raised $2,000 for the expansion in addition to the state funds which Jaffee has helped them accesses. The assemblywoman originally began working with the center while she was a teacher in the East Ramapo School District and was recognized today for her contributions.
“I am truly inspired by your goals” Jaffee told the center’s board of directors after thanking them for their work in providing “supplemental health, education and social programs” for Spring Valley.