Play Zone: Northwest Arena Receives State Funding | News, Sports, Jobs

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A concept drawing of children playing in the “Zone” which will be an interactive play space for children located inside the new addition to the Northwest Arena. Submitted photo

The interactive play space offered for children aged 2 to 12 has received state funding.

On Monday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the allocation of $ 81 million to 97 statewide projects, including $ 450.00 for “The area” project which will be located at Northwest Arena. The area will be a new indoor activity venue for children in downtown Jamestown that will use the underutilized space of the Northwest Arena to create a new center focused on technology and play, encouraging children to explore the STEAM principles through physical activity.

“We were very happy and grateful to learn that we received a major grant (Empire State Development) from New York State”, said Keith Martin, executive director of Northwest Arena. “This is extremely important for the completion of TheZone, a project that will greatly benefit the children in our community. “

In August, arena officials launched its $ 4 million fundraising campaign to create the new community asset that offers an engaging sports-themed experience that encourages the development of physical skills and mental stimulation. thanks to indoor games all year round. Donations are solicited from individuals, companies and foundations. To donate to The Zone project, visit funatthezone.org. Once the fundraising goal is reached, it will take four months for the exhibits to be fabricated and installed, with The Zone slated to open in the summer of 2022.

Jack Rouse Associates and Cortina Productions, who also worked on the National Comedy Center, will work on The Zone’s exhibits. Arena officials will work closely with youth organizations in the area to provide access for children once the area is open. In the free play area, kids can enjoy all kinds of different sports and games, and there’s even a hanging jumbotron that will show instant replays. The area will also include STEAM and STEM educational learning activities. The area will also include a toddler enclosure for infants.

Kids will also receive an RFID chip to record every experience they have at The Zone, so they know when they’ve hit a personal best.

Through the initiative of the Regional Economic Development Council, $ 150 million in Empire State Development grants have been made available on an ongoing and competitive basis to meet the immediate needs of applicants. In addition, projects in each region are eligible for a share of $ 75 million in Excelsior Jobs program tax credits to help attract and develop businesses in their region.

“The toll from the pandemic has touched every corner of the state and every sector of New York’s economy, and therefore, we must ensure that our recovery does the same. “ Hochul said. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we are using the continuous grant process to better rebuild New York State by supporting off-the-shelf projects with the potential to accelerate new investments and catalyze economic growth in every community. . “

The request for grant funds remains open and requests are continuously reviewed until funds are exhausted. Applicants with solid, ready-to-go projects that align with state and regional economic development priorities can apply through the Consolidated Funding Request.

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