When the Malverne Little League begins another season next month, it will unveil a new concession stand, complete with restrooms, on the sidelines of Harris Field — not across a parking lot.
The new stand, according to Little League President Joe Ariola, will feature handicapped-accessible restrooms that comply with current building codes, along with a storage area to house all of the league’s equipment in the off-season.
The league’s previous concession stand became outdated due to its lack of restrooms, Ariola said, forcing players to walk across an adjacent parking lot to use village Department of Public Works facilities — and risk their safety among moving vehicles.
“I think the fact that having the bathrooms where the kids don’t have to walk across the parking lot is a win-win for everybody,” said Chris Daniels, the league’s treasurer. “The Little League has been working hard to try to develop this, so it’s well on its way.”
Because of its nonprofit status, the league hosted fundraisers and relied on grants and the generosity of several other organizations to fund the stand’s construction — even accepting a donation from State Sen. Dean Skelos of Rockville Centre.
Ariola said the league budgeted $30,000 to $35,000 for the project, and that its members set aside proceeds from fundraisers for six years so that construction could begin late last year.
“The Little League project is a wonderful completion to the facilities we have there, providing a more modern concession stand and also the safety and security of the children, and completes the renovations that we’ve done in that park over the past few years…,” said Village Trustee Michael Bailey. “It’s part of what we love about this small community: We have the skills and expertise of everyone working together.”
Despite the harsh winter, Bailey said, the stand’s construction is entering its final stages, with an expected unveiling on Opening Day, April 19. Crews are working to finish sheetrocking the building and laying tile in the restrooms, he said, and DPW Supervisor Paul Jessup inspected the site on March 6, accompanied by an electrician. While work is far from finished, Bailey added, crews are working until 9 p.m. every night to make sure the project gets done in time.
“Harris Field has gotten an awful lot of use by the teams since last season,” said Village Trustee Patricia Callahan, who also serves as a member of the village’s Youth Board, adding, “I think it’s a great addition.”