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Recreation center to debut in Saratoga Springs | Public Spaces

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Recreation center to debut in Saratoga Springs
Public Spaces

Saratoga Springs - The house that Johnson built stands at the corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and Worth Street, just around the corner from the federally subsidized housing where Mayor Scott Johnson grew up. "It's finally built."

The mayor is proud of the of the city's new six million dollar recreation center. Johnson inherited the bonding for the building from previous administrations, but he pushed to make it happen.

Sometimes over the objections of fellow councilmen and even the citizens who live near the center, who filed a lawsuit to prevent construction.

“I think most people have gotten beyond that now. They're accepting the fact that it is here,” says Johnson. “It's reality, get behind and stand behind it."

It's ready to open, but it was no slam dunk to get it done. It took sixteen years to make it happen. There were feasibility studies, arguments over location and financing and the suit from neighbors who didn't want it built on existing park land.

 But that game is over and it's time to play ball.  Campers from Camp Saradac are the first to sample the center before it opens later this month. They give it a thumbs up and say they're looking forward to playing long after the warm weather goes away.

"Sometimes we'd shovel off our little court we have outside and play there, but that wasn't so great. So now I come here," says 12-year old David Balasco of Saratoga Springs.

Grand opening is July 27th. After Labor Day, the center will be open seven days a week.

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