Spagnola talks about recreation center cost and usage

I spoke with Recreation Director Rob Spagnola yesterday to clarify some of the details for the proposed recreation center which he presented to the Common Council this past Monday.

I asked about the estimated total cost for the project. Spagnola said that the final cost is still yet to be determined, but he expects the price tag to come in somewhere between $2 million and $3 million. He said he is using cost projections provided for free by CT Male Associates as well as his own research to determine the final cost.

Spagnola is working with Community and Economic Director Robert von Hasseln to submit a Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) to NY State this spring. The grant will require 25% matching funds from the city. Spagnola said this his goal is to not use any additional city funds to build the center, but rather raise the money needed via various fundraising efforts. He said an online crowd funding campaign is in the works which he hopes to reveal later in the month.

I asked him about how he envisioned the balance between outside groups and local residents’ use of the facility. He said that events such as basketball tournaments and indoor track events would provide the bulk of the revenue for the facility. However the rest of the time, the center would be open to the general public. Spagnola said he expected a “minimal” usage fee would be appropriate for individual use. Spagnola said that regional and local use of the facility were “two sides of the equation. You can’t have one without the other.”

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.