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Pleasantville Working to Revitalize Rec Department

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - The unused Pleasantville Ambulance Corps building on 48 Marble Ave. will be revitalized and turned into the home of the village's Recreation Department, according to the village Board of Trustees.

At a meeting on May 7, the board unanimously awarded a $128,595 contract to Camilli Peter and Sons to renovate the building. The work includes constructing a multipurpose room and improving the kitchen and bathroom areas.

"It would be a great home for the rec department and rec programs," said Mayor Peter Scherer. "Albeit not everything we wish we had in a Recreation Department, but certainly a big step forward in what we have, which is no building at all."

The building was initially owned by the village before being given to the ambulance corps, which has since moved to a larger garage in Thornwood. The village regained ownership of the building more than year ago and has been working on plans to improve it even since.

"One of the things that I’m thrilled about is adding back the cooking programs," said Trustee Mindy Berard. "Both my kids did it, and there were boys and girls of all ages in these classrooms. There’s nothing better than watching these kids walk out of a cooking class at the old rec center with flour all over them, thrilled to death that they made pretty good tasting food."

Berard and other trustees are confident that revenue generated by the programs and other events at new building will be able to cover the construction expenses.

"When we lost our rec center, we essentially lost the ability to run a good amount of programs," Berard said. "Of course the Recreation Department is a revenue-generating department. When you lose that, when you don’t have the programs, you can't make the money."

Despite the optimism brought by the new building, Berard said she was disappointed the scope of the project was not bigger. She had hoped to see an outdoor bathroom system installed for patrons on the nearby athletic fields.

Trustee Jonathan Cunningham agreed and said he would also like to see the sale of the old recreation center on Bedford Road.

"I’m going to kick myself if we go another year with that not on the tax rolls," Cunningham said. "If I thought it was as simple as putting a for sale sign out there, that’s fine, but we need a more fulsome discussion about what other alternatives are."

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