Niskayuna town board OKs indoor recreation plan

At the Niskayuna Town Board Meeting, held on Tuesday, March 24, a resolution sponsored by councilwoman Julie McDonnell supporting the efforts of certain organizations to construct a multi-purpose recreational and sports facility in the Town of Niskayuna, was passed unanimously. At least half a dozen Niskayuna residents stood and spoke in support of the resolution.

"With two teenagers of my own, an indoor facility offers a great opportunity for sports year- round," said Trish Pollock of Niskayuna and a Niskayuna Soccer Club officer.

"An indoor facility gives both our young people and our adults something to do year-round. Sports have proven to teach life skills, they're fun, [the kids] can socialize - I think it would be a great opportunity," said Pollock.

The project of planning an indoor recreational facility was started with the closing of Center City in downtown Schenectady, where the soccer and lacrosse clubs used to practice sports in the colder months. Center City is currently being redeveloped into a new space. This past season, the Niskayuna Soccer and Lacrosse Clubs were unable to practice due to a lack of space. At the Thursday, March 5, meeting of the Parks, Education and Recreation Committee, Michael Parzych, president of the Niskayuna Soccer Club, and Steve Avveduti, president of the Niskayuna Lacrosse Club, presented their preliminary plans.

The facility, which would be funded privately " not through the Town of Niskayuna " would cost between $500,000 and $600,000. After a capital drive and donations, the clubs are anticipating needing a bond or loan of $400,000. According to a preliminary plan, the building, which would be created in the style of a warehouse, would measure between 100 and 120 feet by 200 to 220 feet with a "clear span space." Heaviest use of the building is expected from November to March. Times for using the space would be between 4 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. According to the preliminary plan, "based on 80 percent utilization during that time, we anticipate a loaded cost of $100 per hour for usage."

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