© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

ARPA funding a hit for Troy’s Central Little League field

Samantha Simmons
Troy Mayor Carmella Mantello cheering the completion of construction at the city's Central Little League field.

Thanks to American Rescue Plan Act funding, Troy’s Central Little League field has gotten a major upgrade.

After waiting for more than two years for the $200,000 in federal funding to be released, work on the Central Little League field on 7th Ave is nearly complete.

Gathering in between games on a recent Saturday, Mayor Carmella Mantello cheered the completion of a new announcer’s booth and a refurbished pavilion.

“At the end of the day, and I know I keep saying it. You know it is about our kids’ quality of life revitalizing our neighborhoods,” Mantello said.

Mantello says the field could serve generations to come.

The league, established in 1957, hopes to bring kids off the streets and onto the field.

League President and mentor Mack Henderson says the facility needed some major work after years of small upgrades.

“We thought that by recreating the greatness that was here already, that it would draw more attention in a community.” Henderson said. “Here the community will have more, I don't want you to use that word pride too much, but they will respect your community a little bit more.”

Henderson, who has been with the league since 1985, says if the league can instill positivity in the young people, the community as a whole will benefit. He says the field is not only home to games, but community engagement events.

“We want people to know that where you lack care, we have care,” Henderson said. “Where you lack love, we have love. Where you lack respect, we have respect. So, this is our nature.”

George Terry says growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s, he lived at the field. One of the league’s former vice presidents, he says the field remains a safe place for kids and families to connect.

“Everyone strove to come out with the same role; strong, healthy children, strong, healthy adults as an older life,” he said.

Henderson says sports and team-building are important measures to reduce violence and vandalism across the city.

Cameron Bell celebrated his 12th birthday playing ball. He says over four years with the league, he has learned respect and responsibility.

“I like the sport. It's fun. I make friends. And like, also, I'm trying to go to the MLB,” Bell said.

Samantha joined the WAMC staff after interning during her final semester at the University at Albany. A Troy native, she looks forward to covering what matters most to those in her community. Aside from working, Samantha enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and cat. She can be reached by phone at (518)-465-5233 Ext. 211 or by email at ssimmons@wamc.org.