The Staten Island Runner

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March 10, 2000

What's going on?

by Bob Orazem
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An historic meeting took place on Wed. March 8th between the running community and the Boro President's office at their offices at 10 Richmond Terrace.
The group went under the banner of T.R.A.C.(Track Running and Community) which was a group started 4 years ago to petition our elected leaders to build an Indoor Track here on Staten Island.The meeting was agreed upon after 5,000 signatures were delivered to the Boro Presidents office from the community.

Representing T.R.A.C. were:

Bob Orazem-President of S.I.A.C.

Jim Hughes-President of the Staten Island High School Track and Field Assoc. and C.Y.O Cross Country and Track commissioner.

Bill Welsh-Staten Island Hall of Fame member.Dean of Running and coach of coaches.

Pete Whitehouse-Tottenville High School Cross Country/Outdoor Track Coach.Has coached more City Championship teams than any other coach on Staten Island.

Tom Cuffe-Director of Alumni relations and track coach at Farrell High School.

Ralph Giordano-Local runner and Architect.

Representing the Borough Presidents office were Mr. James Molinaro-Deputy Boro President/Mr. Daniel Donovan-Chief of Staff/Mr. Ed Burke-Executive Assistant/and Dorothy Prager-Budget Director.

We gave a professional presentation that was organized by the above committee with Joe Macceda, Mary Blaich, Tom Kelly and a lot of work by Lorraine Lettieri.
The presentation, which was given in the form of an overhead projector display and a beautiful booklet, lasted about 60 minutes after an interesting question and answer session.

The presentation was broken down into a introduction, Who is TRAC?, Why does Staten Island need an Indoor Track?, 1999-2000 Operating costs for Staten Island High School's Indoor season, Costs and pain to our school's for the Staten Island High School Championships, What we need and What we gain.

Overall the meeting went great. At one point Mr. Molinaro politely stated "Let's move on. We all now agree that Staten Island needs an Indoor Track & Field Facility. So let's talk about how it could be done" The interest and enthusiasm displayed by Boro President Molinari's office was both enlightening and exciting.

Near the end of the meeting we were asked if we had a "Business Plan", something that I was advised they might ask for but unprepared for at that time. A business plan includes comparisons between our proposal and other existing facilities, costs to operate, building expenses for a bubble thru a permanent structure,and a lot of other concepts we will be working on. Mr. Molinaro has some ideas of where this facility could possibly be built with land the boro President's office "owns".

We were very impressed with the interest of our Boro President's office and we left them with us returning to the our meeting room to write a very complex and difficult Business Plan.

TRAC will meet on Wed. March 22nd at Moore High School at 7 P.M. If you represent an active running organization/Team or feel you could help this movement please attend. I can be contacted at #718 442-2057. I will be happy to answer any positive inquires about what TRAC hopes to do in the Forum. Wish us Luck!

Bob Orazem