A second new children’s playground has opened in the village, barely two weeks after a large new one opened in Kelley Park.
The playground at the Ballston Area Community Center officially opened Friday. A brief ceremony to thank contributors quickly ended so kids could do things they were itching to do, like climb stairs to a slide or crawl through a metal web.
Some boys shot baskets with Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, R-Schenectady, a former basketball star who showed off with a couple of behind-the-back and through-the-legs passes, even while wearing a gray suit.
“If you work hard, you have to be able to play hard,” Tedisco told the children. He was responsible for a $10,000 state legislative member item for the playground.
The playground includes the village’s only outdoor basketball hoop, a paved play area and equipment not found at other local playgrounds, including the other new one in Kelley Park.
Organizers have kept a lower profile than those who organized Kid’s Creekside Village in Kelley Park and said both have a role. The BACC playground is geared to children ages 5 to 12, the Kelley Park playground equipped for younger children as well.
Both facilities are open to the public.
“They’re actually very complementary to each other because they are different,” said Ben Baskin, president of the BACC board and the playground coordinator.
The community center provides before- and after-school care for about 150 children as well as a teen program, but until now hasn’t had an outdoor playground.
“With the whole obesity epidemic, there’s a big emphasis on getting kids outside and getting them moving. If you get them outside, they’ll take care of the moving,” Baskin said.
Much of the equipment was installed by 100 volunteers during a community work bee in May.
The playground is located on the community center property at 9 Scott St., on the hill behind a parking lot off Malta Avenue. While not necessarily easy to find, it’s only a few hundred feet from downtown businesses.
Features unique within the village include a tetherball post and something called an “X-Wave Bench” that operates like two seesaws attached end-to-end. The paved area also allows for four-square, hopscotch and jump rope.
The $98,450 raised included a $25,000 legislative member item from state Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, R-Brunswick; the $10,000 from Tedisco, $14,000 from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust, and a number of corporate contributions.
The village of Ballston Spa and towns of Milton and Ballston also contributed to the community center improvements.
“A lot of our residents use the service,” said Ballston Supervisor Patti Southworth.
Baskin said there was enough money raised to also pay for a ventilation system for the indoor gym.
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