LITTLE FALLS, N.J. - The Township of Little Falls will be holding a ribbon-cutting grand opening of their newly renovated building and turf fields on Saturday, Oct. 10. Many upgrades have been completed at the newly dubbed Sports and Recreation Complex, located at 160 Paterson Ave, and others will be finished soon.
The upgrades include a new air-conditioning system inside the building's gymnasium, a new sound system both inside and outside the building, and the long-anticipated new turf field. The field opened unofficially for some games and for residents to enjoy on September 28.
Mayor James Damiano said he is proud to have been able to oversee this project and added, “Our town desperately needed this upgrade. I am so happy that we are able to give our residents the facilities that they deserve! I look forward to the years of memories that our residents, especially our children, will make on this field at the Little Falls Sports and Recreation Complex.”
The turf project consists of the township's regulation-sized football field, two large soccer fields, and two baseball/softball fields that are 60/90 and 46/60. Also included is a clinic-style soccer field, which is located in the outfield of the 46/60 baseball field. Bleachers were also installed.
“As a parent and also someone that utilizes the Rec Center Complex for adult sports, I’m pleased to see the improvements that have been made,” said Councilman Chris Vancheri. “It’s been a long time coming (improving this facility) and I’m looking forward to seeing our residents enjoying the new features.”
The new gymnasium sound system is Bluetooth-enabled and includes four new speakers, each installed in a corner of the room. The gym will have both wireless and wired microphone capabilities, including a microphone and headset for Zumba classes. The outdoor sound system is similar to the one installed recently at Memorial Park on Wilmore Road.
Council President Sgobba also commented on the upgrades.
“This project included more than just upgrading our facilities. We also had to go back and correct mistakes that were made by previous administrations who didn’t always do things the right way," he explained. "Now we will have a thriving Sports and Recreation Complex that will last for a very long time.”
A digital sign in the parking lot area is forthcoming. The new sign will be controlled remotely will be used to send messages not only for recreational activities, but other township events as well as road closures and emergencies.
Councilman Al Kahwaty spoke about the project and said, “Improvements like this benefit everyone, by providing our children and adults quality athletic fields, by making our gym more comfortable for everyone who uses it, and by giving our community a Sports and Recreation Complex that can make us proud. This facility is the first thing many people see when they come to Little Falls, and it’s as if we finally made our front lawn look presentable after decades of neglect.”
Other upgrades to come include the addition of two Pickleball courts and a resurfacing of the tennis courts. A new four-garage storage shed was also constructed.
Councilwoman Tanya Seber also commented.
"I am excited to see the upgrades to our recreation center that can be enjoyed by residents of all ages," she said. "I am particularly looking forward to the completion of the Pickleball courts. It is a great way to bring a new activity to Little Falls. This sport is growing fast amongst players of all ages and abilities. The tennis court will also be getting resurfaced."
Christine Hablitz, the Council's newly appointed member, said she is excited to see the renovations come to fruition.
”My children enjoyed playing on that field and made lasting memories there," she explained. "It’s amazing to see that future generations of Little Falls children will get to enjoy a beautifully upgraded field.”
Tyler Passero, Assistant Director of Recreation, said beginning in the first week of October, the recreation center building will be power-washed, painted and will be receiving new signage.
"The turf is all done and ready to go, and we've had many soccer games, including six on Saturday, Oct. 3," he said. "The Pickleball courts will be all done, and the tennis courts just need resurfacing."
Passero also said that the new digital sign will be installed in two to three weeks.
"Our ribbon-cutting is coming up," he added. "There will be a lot of people and a lot of fun."