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 schedule 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 borne 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 the community one of the most beautiful and all-inclusive parks in New York State. This is grand scale with absolutely the finest amenities."
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, workout 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 homemade 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. "I am grateful to my board, our designers, Ward Associates, and my builders, Galvin Brothers and all the sub-contractors who pulled together, gave an all-out effort and made this success happen. It was a race to the finish line, but I had the very best team." Mayor Koblenz also announced a series of "Grand Days" when grandchildren of residents in East Hills would be given totally free admission to the pool. Grand Days include July 21, July 28, Aug. 5, Aug. 12 and Aug. 19. In all, 23,000 free guest passes were given out this year.
The grand opening of all facilities will be held in the afternoon and evening of Monday, Sept. 4. The official opening ceremonies will include dignitaries and officials, a dynamic concert on the 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 hails 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 Gayson of GrayRock Productions will be producing the show.