Construction underway for Catskill Recreation Center
By Brian Sweeney
Gold and silver shovels were firmly planted into the earth as Kingdon Gould Jr. and family members commemorated the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Catskill Recreation Center in Arkville.
About 100 community members turned out for the event on Monday afternoon at the project site on county Route 38. The Catskill Recreation Center will include an indoor pool and other amenities for public utilization. The building will cover about 18,000 square feet and is anticipated to cost approximately $4 million.
The grounds around the center will also include playing fields or sporting courts. The building has been designed so that it can eventually accommodate an indoor ice rink.
Mr. Gould gave a brief address at Monday’s groundbreaking.
“We are building a project here that will be available to men and women, old and young, singles and families – all community members,” he told the appreciative audience.
He continued, “This facility is for the people who are already here and for those who may want to become residents here one day. I am happy to be building this project.
“Our family has had a wonderful time in this area and we have been fortunate to live up here for eight generations. We’re trying to put something back that will be used by our neighbors and families who will be coming here,” Mr. Gould.
Mr. Gould also expressed his appreciation to the many people who have helped his family bring the project to fruition.
“I want to thank the Town Board of Middletown and Supervisor Marge Miller, Assemblyman Pete Lopez and Ted Blazer, the head of the Olympic Regional Development Authority, for helping to make this project possible,” commented Mr. Gould.
He also credited Gary Gailes for providing extra acreage from the adjacent Water Discovery Center property that will improve the Catskill Recreation Center parcel layout.
Mr. Gould also gave credit to the fine work of VIP Structures, the Syracuse-based firm that has designed the state-of-the-art facility. The project will utilize both geothermal and solar power to reduce energy costs.
Preliminary site preparation got underway last week with the Hubbell Companies of Kelly Corners performing the work. Mr. Gould asked the crowd on Monday to mark their calendars for about 10 months from now when the recreation center is anticipated to open its doors.
He also said there’s a good possibility that the most decorated athlete in Olympic history may be on hand for the grand opening.
“If we’re lucky, we may be able to Michael Phelps here for the opening ceremony,” Mr. Gould stated.
He explained that his wife’s niece works with Mr. Phelps — the winner of 22 swimming medals, including 18 gold medals — and there have been discussions about having the famed athlete attend when the pool is unveiled.
In closing, Mr. Gould stated, “I thank you all for coming and please mark your calendars for 10 months from now for the opening of the pool.”