Commercial Real Estate
Shifting Focus to Serve Community Needs
Shane Bargy, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady, helps serve the community, whether that’s through youth development or emergency services.
COVID-19 forced many organizations—including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady—to switch gears. Executive Director Shane Bargy played a critical role in that pivot. But his work started long before the pandemic.
- Coming home: Bargy can recall taking his first sports photos in Schenectady, N.Y.’s Mt. Pleasant Fields in the 1980s. Today, he still spends time in the park, but he’s no longer playing baseball. Instead, Bargy is working as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady’s executive director, where he helps young people reach their full potential. When Bargy received the job offer, he couldn’t pass it up. “This was an opportunity to make a huge difference right in the same neighborhood and community I grew up in,” he said.
- Building a youth development supercenter: When Bargy started his job, the organization’s facility was in bad shape. But he worked hard to change that, first by securing enough votes on the board to approve a new facility, then by raising the funds necessary to build the structure. The facility opened in January 2020, thanks to help from New York State, private donations and JPMorgan Chase’s New Markets Tax Credit equity investment of $2.4 million.
- Delivering for Schenectady: Unfortunately, COVID-19 hit the area just a few months later, shutting down regular operations. “We knew that we had to play a vital role in some way in this pandemic,” Bargy said. Soon, dozens of volunteers and 20 other organizations occupied the space, where they operated an emergency call center and assembled care packages. The facility helped organizations deliver 16,000 care packages and serve more than 40,000 hot meals. “It really is a miracle [the facility] was finished in time for this pandemic,” Bargy said. Courtney Nolan, Commercial Banker, Community Development Banking New Markets Tax Credit Group, was impressed with how quickly Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady adapted. “If you would have told me at the grand opening event in January that the building would be used for this, I never would have believed you,” she said. “It’s so great to learn that all of these community organizations are coming together to keep Schenectady moving forward.”