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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assembly Member Jon Rivera announced the Belle Center will receive $2 million from the state.
The Belle Center is a community center on Maryland Street in Buffalo.
Lucy Candelario, the executive director of the center, said the money will go toward giving the building a facelift, with a focus on the pool area.
She said funding will give the pool a new filtration system and a new pool pack to control the water temperature.
"We are the only indoor pool here on the West Side, so this is a gem for our kids here on the West Side,” Candelario said. “I say that because too often, and especially now this summer, since we don’t have our pools open, it’s important. Because our kids tend to want to go to Lake Erie or the river to swim. And we all know that’s very dangerous.”
Elected officials also announced the Hispanic Heritage Cultural Institute of Western New York will receive $1.5 million in state funding.
The institute is a project created by the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York Inc.
The council says its goal is to create a space that will give the Hispanic community in Buffalo, especially young people, a place to archive Hispanic history and build an appreciation for Hispanic culture.
"Something that we feel here in places like Upstate New York is that we’re quite a distance from where our routes began,” New York Assembly Member John Rivera (D) said. “For me, that’s Puerto Rico. For other people, that’s other places in the Caribbean and South and Central America. Nonetheless, we have to do everything we can to connect ourselves to those routes, despite the great distance. And I believe, and I know a lot of people here believe, that the Hispanic cultural institute is going to accomplish that.”
The Hispanic Heritage Cultural Institute of Western New York is expected to break ground next year and open in 2024.

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