PLATTSBURGH - Last August, Plattsburgh's newly hired recreation superintendent walked into the dilapidated basement of his department headquarters on U.S. Oval and vowed to renovate the space.
That plan recently came to fruition with the completion of a 6,500-square-foot community room in the basement space which was once home to a bowling alley - but was hardly recognizable as one.
"It was pretty obvious that it was in rough shape," Plattsburgh Department of Recreation Superintendent Steve Peters explained. "The floors and bowling equipment were gone, windows were broken, paint was peeling and weeds had even taken root inside the building."
"It was a mess. It was just in really bad shape," he added.
Beginning in November, Joshua Herbest, a city laborer, began working on the renovations, including leveling the floor where the bowling equipment once was, taking out thousands of nails that were sticking out and replacing the electrical work.
"We also had to get the lights rewired to be safe," Peters said. "There was some shorts here and they had to be worked on."
Herbest also installed outlets on every post to provide enough power for anyone wishing to utilize the room.
The total cost of the project amounted to $18,000.
"It was money that wasn't spent above and beyond what was budgeted for the city recreation department or for the building itself," Peters said. "The important thing is it actually works out to about $2.75 per square-foot. And, that's pretty good."
Aside from allowing the room to be used as a community room, Peters also had another goal in mind.
"One of the major goals that I had in doing this, was to recycle as much as we could," he explained.
The flooring used in the room primarily came from the Crete Memorial Civic Center, where it had been "taking up space in our garages," Peters said.
The outer edges of the community room are carpeted and the center is made up of 3-inch thick, insulated slabs of wood, once used as the gym floor from the civic center, which covered the ice there.
The two bathrooms in the room also received makeovers, with one of them being transformed into handicapped-accessible. Now the room is complete, Peters said it can be rented out for many different needs, including a meeting space for $25 per hour. The room may also be used, free of charge, for any city-serving nonprofit organization.
If interested in renting out the room, facility-use forms can be picked up at the recreation center or downloaded at www.cityofplattsburgh-ny.gov.