Niagara Partner Network opens venue for Niagara Falls youth
Niagara Catholic Jr./Sr. High School, the Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club, Niagara University and the Niagara Police Athletic League held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday to officially open The Niagara Community Center. Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster delivered a proclamation commemorating the event, and lauding the venue's benefits to the Cataract City.
Waste Technology Services President and CEO Gary Hall headed efforts to build the 21,600-square-foot, multimillion-dollar facility, which is located next to Niagara Catholic on 66th Street. He said the center opened about six weeks ago and is already serving 500 youth.
"And we're just getting started," he said.
Though The Niagara is open, Hall, who is president of the center's board of trustees, told the crowd additional fundraising is ongoing. About $1 million more is sought to add a mezzanine with a running track, and high-tech computer/arts/technology classroom space.
"Our dream is to see this place making a positive impact on young people in our community for years to come," he said.
NC students were on hand to mark the occasion, as were participants from the Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club.
Gary Hall addresses students and local leaders at a press conference for The Niagara Community Center on Wednesday. Hall, president of the board of trustees, said the building is a dream come true and a place for students to learn and grow.
The Niagara will offer numerous youth programs and services through collaboration with its partner organizations. Programs will be focused on five core areas:
The Niagara is a mixed-use facility with indoor and outdoor space for athletics. Cannon Design planned the project, which features multisport surfaces for tennis, cheerleading, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball and other athletic programs.
Robert Cluckey president/principal of Niagara Catholic, said, "The Niagara represents an extraordinary investment and commitment to Niagara Catholic Jr./Sr. High School. Our students will benefit from this incredible facility for decades to come. We are profoundly grateful to Gary and Brian Hall for establishing and leading innovative partnership."
Brian Hall - Gary's son, a board member and NC business teacher - emceed the event. In a press release, he said, "We believe the best way to improve our community is through education. Providing students with the opportunity to not only enjoy the benefits that come from participating in athletics but also to improve their skills in the classroom will help them achieve success."
The Niagara Partner Network is comprised of Niagara Catholic, the Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club and NU.
Learn more about "The Niagara" Community Center at www.the-niagara.com.
Niagara Catholic is online at niagaracatholic.org.
Students look on as the ceremony unfolds and the ribbon is cut.
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