Lee Barta Community Center
The Lee Barta Community Center is located at 108 Liberty St. on Binghamton’s North Side.
Owned by the City of Binghamton and staffed by the United Way of Broome County, the Barta Center offers residents a variety of free programming with a focus on promoting healthy lifestyles, including exercise classes and nutritional cooking workshops. It is a collaboration of the City of Binghamton, the United Way of Broome County and the Healthy Lifestyles Coalition.
The Barta Center underwent a $500,000 expansion project in 2017-18 that more than doubled its size. The building, which originally opened as police substation in 1998, had become too small to accommodate growing programming. The City demolished a blighted and vacant property next door at 110 Liberty St. to make room for the expansion.
The project was funded by $150,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money from the City of Binghamton, $300,000 in New York State grant funds secured by Senator Fred Akshar and $50,000 from Visions Federal Credit Union.
The upgraded community center includes a full-size instructional kitchen, community room, computer lab, exercise area, food pantry and expanded work space for Fresh Cycles, the educational bike program based in the Barta Center basement.
Non-profit organizations, including CHOW, Legal Services of Central New York and Promise Zone, use the center to provide programming and resources to residents.
The community center is named for Patrolman Lee Barta, a Binghamton Police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Aug. 3, 1995. Barta was 29 years old.