$4.415 million for the cost of the purchase of the building and $3.5 million for the full renovation of the facility
Phuntsok Deshe Tibetan Community Hall
New York is home to the largest number of Tibetans living in America. Over the past several years, members of the Tibetan community of New York and New Jersey have worked endlessly towards achieving our dream of establishing a community center we can call home. This has been a long time goal of the Tibetan community of New York and New Jersey as new members continue to enroll as part of the organization and the community. Our community center, also known as Phuntsok Deshe serves as the backbone and a support system for all Tibetans. Having a community center of our own enables us to achieve our long term goal of seeing a free Tibet, it also serves as a sanctuary where all individuals can unite as one and learn from one another.
With generous contributions from various sponsors such as the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, past and present executive members of the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey, and our friends, we were able to purchase the building, located at 57-12 32nd Avenue Woodside, N.Y., 11377 on October 2012 for $4.4 million. The building had no major violations at the time of the purchase and was previously used as a sewing factory with its 14,000 square feet area also serving as a warehouse/storage facility.
The Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey was able to raise about $1 million with the kind contribution of $500,000 from the Dalai Lama Trust fund. We were also fortunate to receive help from one of our major donors, Kevin Toner and his wife Youdon Dhonden la, who initially donated $500,000 during the purchase of the property and another $500,000 for the renovation project. With a loan balance of $1.3 million from Chase Bank and an estimate cost of $4 million for the on going renovation project, the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey is in dire need of about $500,000 in addition to its loan of $3.5 million from M & T Bank in order to complete our project and fulfill our dream of having our own community center.
The Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey was able to raise about $1 million with the kind contribution of $500,000 from the Dalai Lama Trust fund.
Nandinee Phookan Associates was selected as the architect for the renovation. The firm works with government agencies, developers, community organizations and individuals to create environments that are beautiful, economical and sustainable. The work they have performed is on a cost basis and they have been able to obtain commitments for below market pricing for many of the building’s systems. The proposed design will make the building efficient and user-friendly. The construction has been put out to bidders and the community selected T&R group of company for the renovation of the building for $3.5 million
The renovation of the building began on Monday, March 28, 2016 and will be an extensive renovation project, transforming the building into a modern hall where community members will be able to come together for life events, cultural education, various workshops for all members of the community, and much more. The building will serve as a multi-purpose facility as it will be utilized by both the members of the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey as well as for private parties/events.
The Phuntsok Deshi Tibetan Community Hall is planned to be used for (but not limited to) the following:
1. Tibetan Language School
The Sunday Tibetan school serves to teach younger Tibetan Americans how to speak/ read/write in the Tibetan language as well as Tibetan music and dancing arts. Upon completion of the renovation project, the Sunday Tibetan School with be held at the Phuntsok Deshi Tibetan Community Hall which will feature 13 classrooms in the basement level of the building. The school, despite being held in various venues over the past several years, has grown from 150 students in 2012 to 300 students in 2014. Having a central, stable, and state of the art facility will enable the student population of the Sunday Tibetan School to significantly increase to an estimated amount of 500 students annually which will ultimately benefit the future generation Tibetans
2. Kyidugs & Community Services
There are 4 major Organizations and 23 Kyidug’s in New York & New Jersey. They can access this Community hall on discounted rate, as they are the major strength of the Tibetan Community of New York & New Jersey
3. Private Parties/Weddings/Events
With New York being home to the largest population of Tibetans living in the United States as well as a home to a large number of individuals of Himalayan descent, the Phuntsok Deshi Tibetan Community Hall serves as the perfect venue for various community events and/or private parties/events such as cultural celebrations, meetings, weddings, birthday parties, graduation parties, and much more. The 4 major community organizations and the 23 different kyidugs in New York and New Jersey will also have access to the community hall for various events at a discounted rate as these organizations serve as a major backbone of the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey.
4. Government / Vocation Training
Phuntsok Deshi Tibetan Community Hall will also available for the local government and/or any third-party organization as a training facility.
It is certain that Phuntsok Deshi Tibetan Community Hall will serve to benefit all members of the community, specifically the Tibetan people of New York and New Jersey. We are truly grateful to our sponsors and supporters as we would not be where we are today without your support and generosity. The future of the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey and the younger Tibetan Americans heavily relies upon the completion of this project as the community hall will enable us to better work towards preserving our culture and helping the members of our community.
Therefore, we request our community members, donors, and supporters to open their kind hearts and help us achieve our dream of completing this noble project. Once again, we are in desperate need of an additional $500,000 in order to complete the renovation project of the Phutsok Deshi Tibetan Community Hall. Your contribution will help us achieve our goals and further the progress of the Tibetan struggle by investing in the lives of our future generations.