Great Neck Park District eyes building for indoor rec center

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Great Neck Park District officials are considering purchasing a property in Kings Point to operate a year-round indoor recreational center.
Park District Commissioner Robert Lincoln said discussions to buy the Kings Point Tennis Center, a privately owned facility at 143 Steamboat Road, were in  “very preliminary” stages.
“There’s been some interest for quite some time in having an indoor recreation center and many people have also expressed an interest, from youth to adults,” Lincoln said. “We learned that this property and building were possibly for sale, so we made an inquiry and found out there is a possibility of purchasing it.”
Before moving forward with any agreements, he said, park district officials wanted to hear from the community on whether the purchase was a good idea.
On Nov. 2, the park district will hold a special meeting at Great Neck House to gauge the community’s interest in purchasing the property. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m.
“Before we get too far into it, we really want the community to know this is a possibility and to get their input,” Lincoln said. “The purpose of this meeting is to put the proposal on the table and for people to be able to speak for or against it.”
He said the Board of Commissioners is currently “leaning” in favor of purchasing the property and that the board was alerted that it may be for sale by members of the public.
But ultimately, Lincoln said, the decision comes down to what park district residents want.
Currently, the park district uses its Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink during the summer for indoor recreational activities.
But Lincoln said the district wanted to offer residents a place where they can enjoy indoor activities throughout the year and not just when the ice rink is closed for the season.
“The benefit would be that we would have a place for indoor recreation, whether it be basketball or soccer or any number of different sports that would be available on a year-round basis,” he said. “There’s no place for kids to go at night and weekends to do positive recreation.”
“It also introduces wellness and physical fitness and a lot of different aspects not just kids but for adults as well,” Lincoln added.
He said that the asking price “may be reasonable” but as negotiations are currently ongoing, he could not comment on specific details.
Lincoln said the park district would need to take out a bond to complete the purchase.
After finalizing what the district would pay if the two sides come to an agreement, he said, the board would hold another public hearing for resident input.
Lincoln said part of the final proposal would be to evaluate whether the indoor recreational facility could generate enough revenue and run on at least a “break-even basis.”
He also said that as  Great Neck’s population grows, it is important for parks and recreation to expand  to provide ample services.

By Joe Nikic

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