by Joshua Maloni
Not only is the Village of Lewiston moving forward with plans to build a recreation center, but trustees have taken one of the main stumbling blocks out of the equation. At Monday's public forum, they will unveil designs to build a 36,000-square-foot complex at the Lewiston plateau -- not behind the Red Brick.
A working image of the rec center is shown at left.
At two previous Village Board meetings, opponents of the rec center vented their dissatisfaction with the original plan, which called for a 28,000-square-foot indoor sports facility behind the Red Brick Municipal Building on Onondaga Street. Trustees are now leaning toward the plateau, instead, as it's not in a residential area and offers appropriate parking options. Moreover, the size of the rec center would be fixed at the Red Brick; at the plateau, it could expand in the future.
The new rec center proposal calls for three tennis courts and a running track -- like the first proposal -- but, conceptually, this new plan also includes an indoor playground, racquetball and squash courts, and a refreshment area/possible juice bar. The building would be situated between the dog park and the habitat.
Trustees and Planning Board members discussed adding a new facility to the plateau when they met in May 2011. The New York Power Authority gifted 42-plus acres of green space to the Village of Lewiston in 2008 with the intent the land be used for recreational purposes.
Desiring to establish a recreation center for children and families in Lewiston, Waste Technology Services President and CEO Gary Hall offered in November to spearhead financing the multimillion-dollar project. On Thursday, his son, Brian, sent an email to local press indicating the project would not continue in Lewiston.
Village of Lewiston Mayor Terry Collesano was expecting to meet with Hall on Friday.
Hall did not respond to a message left for him by this reporter on Friday.
The Village of Lewiston Board of Trustees will hold a public forum on the rec center at 6 p.m. Monday at the Red Brick Municipal Building, 145 N. Fourth St.