January 8, 2024
NoVo in Kingston and the Boys and Girls Club of Ulster County celebrated the opening of the Greenkill House, a new resource for Midtown youth ages 16-24+, on the evening of November 9th with a ribbon cutting, community meal and open house. More than 100 community members came out to tour the building, located at 127 Greenkill Avenue, which opened its doors to the public for the first time after a three-year renovation.
Peter Buffett, Managing Director of NoVo in Kingston, spoke at the event, sharing how the concept for the Greenkill House emerged after discussions with Dan Whalen, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston. “We want to be a good neighbor, and I have a feeling that goes beyond borrowing a cup of sugar every once in awhile,” Peter said with a smile. “What do you need? Dan layed it out, and we tried our best to deliver, which is what you are seeing now.”
“We have so many services for youth and young adults up to age 18 and then they all drop off,” explained Dan, who oversees operations of the adjacent Boys and Girls Club. “What do we do to help our kids transition to the next step? To be positive members of the community? To be able to stay right here, where we grew up, and be successful? Personally, I moved out of ten years and then came back. There shouldn’t have to be a gap, and that is what we want to attack here.”
Mayor Steve Noble, who was on hand to support the celebration, commended the Boys and Girls Club team on their vision for programming. “We have some amazing, talented, young men and women in our community and there has always been a missing link in that 18-to-24 year-old range where we haven’t been able to provide the resources necessary,” said Mayor Noble. “Now, we have a place to be able to do that.”
Currently in development, future programming offered at the Greenkill House will include financial literacy skills, career exploration, job interview training, college search workshops, and more. Boys and Girls Club team members Matthew Stote, who has an extensive background in finance and is also a Kingston High School basketball coach, and Krystal Bullock, who previously worked as a program manager at the Everette Hodge Community Center, will oversee Greenkill House operations.
The Greenkill House was built in 1876, and was vacant and in disrepair prior to NoVo’s purchase. A multi-year renovation, which including repointing the aging foundation, was undertaken to restore the building. The new space is fully modernized, including ADA accessibility, while retaining its historical and neighborhood character. Midtown-based firm Dutton Architecture led the renovation.
All services at The Greenkill House will be offered free of charge. Visitors and program participants do not need to have been prior participants of the Boys and Girls Club to access programming and services at The Greenkill House.