SportCentral, the organization that believes every kid should play, as it distributes new and gently used sports equipment is about to embark on a fund raiser to expand its facilities. Executive director Sheldon Oleksyn shared the board’s vision to expand the main warehouse.
He said in an interview, they’ve gone from helping a few hundred kids in 1991, to 8.500 this past year. “Our main warehouse needs to be expanded at the back, and our bike shop needs more storage. We have well over 3,500-4,000 bikes per year that are flowing through that bike shop alone. So just the processing and the storing, we tear them apart and recycle them, it takes an enormous amount of space so we’re having to expand.”
SportCentral is looking at architectural drawings and the hope is to get going next summer. However there is a money problem. “We’ve had some delays in getting started only because of the economy. We’re also experiencing some revenue loss because of our parking lots. With all these events going downtown to the new Rogers Place we’re losing about $50,000 annually in parking lot revenue,” Oleksyn said.
“We have to make up for that in operations and on top of that look for additional funding for our expansion. We want to talk to people who appreciate our mission and the amount of support that we do.”
“We have a very good idea of what that’s going to look like. Once we have the drawings and the plan nailed down, and the costs, we will be reaching out to people for funding. We also have matching grant opportunities and we’re hoping to complete that building with several partners coming to the table to help us.”
SportCentral celebrated its 25th year of operations at a noon hour event at City Hall.