The Examiner

New Castle Considers Basketball Court in Town Hall Parking Lot

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New Castle Supervisor Robert Greenstein is planning on earmarking money in the town’s 2015 capital projects budget to convert the back corner of the Town Hall parking lot into a full-length outdoor basketball court.

Greenstein said that the issue was discussed most recently during budget meetings involving the town board and department heads earlier this month. Last summer, Recreation and Parks Superintendent Robert Snyder and a couple of residents also spoke at a board work session trying to come up with a way to make the plan a reality.

“Our town doesn’t have a basketball court,” Greenstein said. “A lot of people have tried to move this project along. We’re hoping to be the first to get it done.”

The only basketball courts in New Castle are contained within the Chappaqua schools. There are also outdoor hoops in the Robert E. Bell Middle School parking lot but those are for half-court games, Snyder said. Those courts also aren’t conducive to competitive action because there are dips in the pavement caused by cars that are parked on the surface in warm weather, he said.

Snyder said there has been plenty of interest expressed by town residents who want to see a basketball court somewhere in town. The facility would be a big draw on weekends and in the evenings, particularly if the town also installs some lighting.

“I know the courts will get play,” Snyder remarked. “I know if we build it they will come out. This is a perfect example of that. It will be utilized.”

A still undetermined number of spaces will be lost in the corner of the lot that is farthest from Town Hall and closest to the commuter lot, Greenstein said. Generally, parking is not an issue at Town Hall, especially during the times that the court will most likely be used, he said.

An issue could arise when there’s a well-attended public hearing at Town Hall or some other function; however, in those instances people could utilize the commuter lot that has a pedestrian path which connects with the Town Hall lot, Greenstein said.

While cost estimates are preliminary, Snyder said a 84-foot by 50-foot court that was recently installed in Bedford, which would be the dimensions of a facility in New Castle, ran about $105,000.

Greenstein said while the board would have to approve the expenditure, the project is proposed for the 2015 capital projects line in the tentative budget.

However, town officials have to decide what amenities they might want to add or delete, which would impact costs, Snyder said. For example, along with lighting, the town could consider a fence, benches and a water fountain, he said.

The proposal is the latest recreation-related project that is being pitched by the town. About two weeks ago, the board heard a presentation from Dan Googel, a Master Plan commercial work group member, about the possibility of the town creating a bike and pedestrian path connecting Roaring Brook Road and downtown Chappaqua.


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