Anonymous Donor Gives $1 Million For Montauk Playhouse Improvements

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The aquatics center will be a key element in improvements to the Montauk Playhouse. COURTESTY MONTAUK PLAYHOUSE COMMUNITY CENTER FOUNDATIONS

The Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation announced on Monday that it had received a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor in December — the largest private contribution that the nonprofit foundation has received so far.

The foundation has been raising money to add a cultural center and aquatics center to the Playhouse, which currently has senior and child care centers, a gymnasium and other offerings. More than $7 million has been raised, but the foundation needs to reach about $10.5 million for construction to begin, Julia McCormack, the foundation’s director of development, said on Monday.

An additional $1.5 million endowment also is needed to help with operating costs the first year or two after the pools and cultural center have been added.

“It’s such nice news for us,” Ms. McCormack said of the December donation, which is unrestricted and thus will allow the greatest amount of flexibility in how it is to be used. She declined to say anything that potentially could reveal the donor’s identity.

The aquatics center will be added to the historic building’s first floor, and the cultural center will go on the second floor. Construction of both will occur simultaneously, rather than in phases, with luck, and with ground being broken in the next couple of years.

“This is a significant moment for the Playhouse Foundation and for Montauk,” the foundation’s chairman, Perry B. Duryea III, said in a press release. “A gift of this size is a clear sign that our community believes in this project and in the future of Montauk.”

Ms. McCormack said much the same, noting that one gift often begets another.

“It is a very reaffirming gift, and it also shares with the community that this is a project that continues to move forward — so it’s just very inspiring,” she said.

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