In 2006, over the July 4th weekend, we opened the pool, locker rooms and grille. Then, on Labor Day, September 4, 2006 we celebrated the Grand Opening of the Park at East Hills. The evening facilities featured ceremonies and a concert by Taylor Dayne, recording star and former lead in Aida. The evening was capped off by an exciting fireworks display. This year the Park opened on the Memorial Day weekend to a record crowd.
It’s fun for everyone!
A full nine months ahead of schedule, the 12.000 square foot pool and 100 foot water park styled slide opened on the Fourth of July in the Village of East Hills. According to Mayor Michael Koblenz, “the expedited scheduled for the pool was set to respond to the requests by our residents to enjoy the pool during the hot summer months, instead of waiting another season to utilize it.” Indeed, the need was born out when over 1,000 residents used the pool on opening day. “The level of excitement and response was more spectacular than Macy’s Fireworks display!” said Hilda Yohalem, Civic Association Leader from Norgate. “Mayor Koblenz deserves every accolade for conceiving of this idea, obtaining the land, and then building us one of the most beautiful and all-inclusive parks – or perhaps clubs – in New York State. This is grand scale with absolutely the finest amenities” she said. Mrs. Yohalem also lauded members of the Koblenz Administration, including Deputy Mayor Linda Nathanson and trustees Gary Leventhal, Manny Zuckerman, and Peter Zuckerman.
The spacious pool, Italian tiled locker rooms, and new Park Grille are part of a $17 million dollar “extreme makeover” of the former Roslyn Air National Guard Base. The site includes over 50 acres of land, with 15 being preserved in its pristine condition. Within the next two months six tennis courts, two basketball courts, a senior-community center, newly renovated auditorium, a nature-walking trail, jogging trail, playgrounds, picnic area, work out room, and sports fields will open. Then too, in winter months there is a 300 foot sled hill which will also be accompanied by the sale of home made hot chocolate. Even the four legged animals have been thought of as two distinct size dog parks are being built. “We have something for everyone” said Mayor Koblenz and “I am grateful to my board, our designers, Ward Associates, and my builders, Galvin Brothers, and all the subcontractor who pulled together, gave an all-out effort, and made this success happen” he said. “It was a race to the finish line, but I had the very best team,” he said. As soon as the Pool and running according to plans Mayor Koblenz announced a series of “GrandDays’ when grandchildren of residents in East Hills would be given totally free admission to the pool. GrandDays include Wednesday, July 21, July 28, August 5, August 12 and August 19, 2006 and all grandchildren would not be deducted from the 10 free guest passes given to each family. In all, 23,000 free guest passes were given out this year.
The grand opening of all facilities was held in the afternoon and evening of September 4, 2006. The official opening ceremonies included dignitaries and officials, a dynamic concert on the new great lawn with recording artist and versatile disco diva, Taylor Dayne, an opening act brought back by popular demand of the Binghamton stars, “Rhythm Method,” and spectacular fireworks by Bay Fireworks. Taylor Dayne, who hailed from Long Island, was the lead in Aida, the Broadway show. She now resides in California. Among her best selling hits, were the platinum albums of Tell it to my Heart and Can’t Fight Fate. Resident Adam Grayson of GrayRock Productions will be producing the show.
With regards to the fireworks, many residents remember Groundbreaking Day for the Park on September 19, 2004 when the Bay Fireworks put on a remarkable display that lit-up the sky in virtually every color for over 15 minutes.
The construction of the park was financed through the sale of bonds. East Hills residents pay the carrying and operating costs through their taxes but they were completely incorporated into the taxes last year. This year taxes rose by only 4.48 percent. The news of the modest increase resulted in an immediate boost by Moody’s of the Village’s bond rating. The credit agency put East Hills in a group of only 7 highest Villages that were at the new, Aa2 level. There are a reported 554 villages in New York State.