Trio of state grants totaling $656,000 will fund new recreational activities for children in City of Tonawanda
New York State Sen. Sean Ryan announced he has secured state grants totaling $656,000 to help fund three brand-new recreational activities for children in the City of Tonawanda. The projects include a splash pad at the city’s public pool, a sportsplex at the Boys & Girls Club of the Northtowns’ Newman Family Club, and an accessible playground for all children located at the new City of Tonawanda Elementary School.
Ryan secured a $250,000 grant for the Boys & Girls Club sportsplex, an open-air covered sports court that will be located at the Newman Family Club on Franklin Street in Tonawanda. The multiuse structure will be used for basketball, soccer, floor hockey, and a variety of other events for the club and the local community.
Another $250,000 grant will help fund the splash pad, which will be installed at the site of the former wading pool adjacent to Tonawanda’s Kohler Pool. The splash pad will include sprayers and interactive elements, as well as structures to provide shade for children and their caretakers.
The playground will be installed at the new City of Tonawanda Elementary School, which is currently under construction and slated to open for the 2023-24 school year. It will consist of a rubber surface and inclusive play items that provide children of all abilities the opportunity to play with their peers. Ryan secured $156,000 for the playground’s construction.
He said, “Investing in youth recreation equipment and infrastructure is an important way to invest in the health and well-being of our children. These projects will create great new options for every kid in Tonawanda and throughout the northtowns to get some exercise and have fun with their peers.”
Legislator John Bargnesi said, “This investment into the City of Tonawanda is incredible. Sen. Ryan’s donations to the Boys & Girls Club, the splash pad, and the inclusive playground are extremely generous. These projects will ensure that the children of Tonawanda have space to safely have fun with their peers.”
City of Tonawanda Mayor John White said, “Thank you to Sen. Ryan for thinking of the City of Tonawanda and securing the funds needed for the splash pad to be located at Kohler Pool. We live in a city surrounded by water; I want the children to have a safe place to cool off during the hot and humid days during the summer months. The Boys & Girls Club sportsplex will be a welcome destination for the youth of this community, and the school playground will round out the youth activities available to the families of the City of Tonawanda.”
City of Tonawanda Common Council President Jenna Koch said, “This is exciting news for the City of Tonawanda. Thank you to Sen. Ryan for advocating for the residents of the City of Tonawanda and securing this funding for our community. Kohler Pool is a true gem in our city that our residents look forward to utilizing every summer. As a member of the Boys & Girls Club of the Northtowns’ board of directors, I also applaud Sen. Ryan for securing monies for the club. This funding will enhance programming and provide necessary improvements to our club. Thank you to the senator for his commitment and dedication to the City of Tonawanda. The grant funding will benefit each entity for decades to come.”
City of Tonawanda Council Member Sean Rautenstrauch said, “The City of Tonawanda is a waterfront community and, because of this, it is important that our children growing up here have the opportunity to become familiar with and comfortable with bodies of water and learning how to be safe around them. Thank you to Sen. Sean Ryan for taking the time to learn about the needs of our city’s residents and for helping us to provide this valuable asset to our community. This splash pad at Kohler pool, along with the Boys & Girls Club sportsplex and the new school playground, will benefit our kids through many stages of their lives as they grow up in our city.”
Tonawanda City School District Superintendent Timothy Oldenburg said, “Sen. Ryan continues to support and prioritize public education in Western New York. Our district values the close partnership with Sen. Ryan. His beliefs and initiatives match the goals and forward momentum of the Tonawanda City School District to provide the most comprehensive and innovative programming and opportunities for all students. By securing this funding through state grants, Sen. Ryan has directly impacted our significant capital project. This funding will be directed to provide a safe, inclusive and accessible environment for elementary students of all grades and abilities to engage in play. The pour-in-place rubber surfacing was not in our budgeted plans for the playground structures at this new school. However, this announcement today ensures that our community, and most importantly our students, will realize the direct action and purposeful support of Sen. Ryan.”
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northtowns CEO Robert O’Brocta said, “Sen. Ryan has been a real champion of our organization. In addition to his support of the building project at the Newman Family Club, he has been a frequent visitor and supporter of our clubhouse located at Our Lady of Black Rock. His love for the youth of all our communities served is very visible and appreciated by The Boys & Girls Club of the Northtowns organization.”