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‘New’ PAL Clubhouse Coming In January 2013

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Lee Seeman joined forces with State Senator Jack Martins and Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello recently to break ground on a long-awaited reconstruction project to restore the New Hyde Park Police Athletic League clubhouse to its former glory.

This kickoff of the renovation project, which was also attended by PAL officials, Nassau County Police Officer Kevin Worth, and Sgt. Doug Kenah, heralded the start of a project that had been hampered by a lack of funds and had consequently languished for over seven years.

Supervisor Kaiman worked alongside Officer Worth, the director of the New Hyde Park PAL program, and other PAL officials to get the gym restored. The town, which owns the Denton Avenue property the PAL facility occupies, approved plans for the renovations.

“I am pleased that this facility, a place where tens of hundreds of children—including my own—from throughout the town have come for decades to play basketball and other sports will soon be up and running again,” Supervisor Kaiman said during the gathering.

Problems with the PAL clubhouse were triggered by flooding when a heavy rainstorm in October 2005 caused an overflow from a sump behind the facility. Water was pushed under the eight-inch concrete block supporting the gym floor, cracking the existing floor. The gym floor was restored with $135,000 from an insurance claim. Officials stated however that the repair work wasn’t sufficient to withstand a July 2007 rainstorm, which caused the gym floor to buckle once again.

A $200,000 state grant promised by former state Sen. Craig Johnson to conduct repairs to the clubhouse was withdrawn by the Democratic State Senate leadership after Johnson lost his re-election bid in the 7th Senatorial District to Republican challenger Jack Martins.

The reconstruction plans call for demolishing the concrete slab and installing new drainage and floor, as well as repaving the adjacent parking area. The project is expected to be completed in January 2013 depending on weather, officials said.

“This is a wonderful thing that PAL does, giving kids from all across the town the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports,” said Councilwoman Seeman. “It took a long time and a lot of collaboration, but finally this place will live again. I’m proud of the efforts of all who helped to make this possible.”