Crete Center's future questionable

Mckenzie Delisle, The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
·3 min read

May 5—PLATTSBURGH — Looking at the future of his indoor sports leagues, coordinator Steven Peters doesn't know how many more seasons the Crete Memorial Civic Center can handle.

"The roof leaks," he said, noting that the Plattsburgh City Department of Public Works did a good job patching high-risk areas last fall. "But there are leaks that have developed in other parts of the building that I would spend hours a week shoveling water out of the hallways — that's substantial.

"The structure is fine, but the rest of the building — there are lots of question marks."

IN BAD SHAPE

The deteriorating state of the 1974 structure, which sits on Beach Road in the City of Plattsburgh, has long been discussed.

The site has served as an indoor sports arena for decades, offering kids and adults alike some recreation during the colder months of the year, and was, at one time, an ice rink.

Still, the building has been criticized for its costly repairs and inability to reap revenues.

'DEMO AN OPTION'

According to Plattsburgh City Mayor Christopher Rosenquest, the Crete Center's demolition was not off the table.

"Although no one has made any decisions on that, we do have to take that long-term future into consideration," he said. "Right now it's being maintained, but the infrastructure is so bad at this point that even patching it here and there is costly.

"The last estimate for demolition versus remediation was done in 2016 and even then it was determined that it would cost roughly $4 million to renovate versus $1 million to demolish," he continued.

"Although, like I said, no decision has been made on the future of that building, demolition has to be considered as an option."

FUTURE LEAGUES

Peters, who served as the city's recreation superintendent for 10 years, recently announced a successful indoor sports season there, offering soccer, flag football and lacrosse leagues.

While he hoped to offer the leagues there again next winter, he was also crunching numbers to plan for a new site in the semi-near future.

"It's not for me to say what the future is, but what I do know is that my goal is to try to get something different that is a little more workable for the community," he said.

"My feeling is, as long as these kids have a place to go, then the city should move on from this legacy. My opinion is that I think the building does need to come down."

'VISION WAS REALIZED'

Peters felt, given his past experience working for the city, that the Crete Center itself was not "sized for its use and never will be."

"Sure, it could be repurposed for something else. . . but there are far more efficient ways to do what this community wants to do," he said. "Multiple, multiple, multiple generations have gone in and out of this building and have gotten so much use out of this building; the vision of the Crete brothers has been realized.

"I think that's something that people should remember if that transition ever happens."

Email McKenzie Delisle:

mdelisle@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @McKenzieDelisle