WPCNR PRESS BOX. By John F. Bailey. July 21, 2006. UPDATED 6:40 P.M. E.D.T.: As reported by WPCNR last week, Geoffrey Thompson, spokesperson for Louis Cappelli, the Super Developer, announced today Mr. Cappelli has asked his Louis Cappelli Foundation board to donate $1 Million to the renovation of Loucks Field in White Plains. Thompson, at this point describes the gift as cash. To date, Mr. Cappelli is the only corporate citizen of White Plains who has stepped to aid the School District on the High School athletic field project. The city government has not indicated it will match the gift in any way at this time.
Paul Wood, City Executive Officer, contacted WPCNR at 5:30 to clarify that the $1 Million may be a contribution "in kind," and the form of it had not been "finalized" yet. Wood also said that the city was responsible for the gift, because Mr. Cappelli had asked the city recently what he could do for the city, (in connection with his enthusiasm at building 221 Main beyond his site plan approval). Wood said the city suggested Cappelli contribute to the school district.
Mr. Cappelli contributed $1 Million to Grace Church last year for renovation of Samaritan House, the women's shelter, whose residents have reportedly been housed elsewhere. When first announced, the gift was reported to be cash, but WPCNR learned that it was in "in kind" services, design of renovations and construction of the renovation, which is under way. While Mr. Cappelli's firm is renovating, his construction crews are using the Grace Church driveway for delivery of cement to the 221 Main project.
Cappelli the man behind the Rennaissance in White Plains, the philanthropist who has contributed approximately $12 Million to White Plains in the last five years since he came to town, has stepped up to donate yet another gift.
The renovation of the White Plains High School Loucks Field will add a state-of-the-art-track, soccer, football, field hockey and lacrosse artificial turf playing surface, new spectator stands, press box, lights and dressing rooms to the site of the New York State Loucks Games was put last night by Triton Construction Corporation as $5,777, 742. The school district apprised of the gift by the city last week, had been hoping it would defray the escalating cost of the capital construction bond put last night at $70 Million, and calculated to go up 2% a quarter before construction begins.
Mike Graessle, chair of the Capital Projects Committee last night, held open the possibility that the committee is leaning to eliminating the artificial turf and stands at the Middle School Highlands Parker Stadium (a cost of $3,672,717), and spending substantially less on redoing the stands at Parker in order to bring down the cost of the bond.
The Cappelli gift defrays $1 Million of the High School Field Cost, and should the district trim the Parker Stadium cost below a million, the bond could be cut by $3.5 Million, and state aid of $2.5 Million could cut the bond back to under $65 Million. To date the Capital Projects Committee has not indicated what projects other than the two athletic fields they will recommend cutting, if any cuts are even being anticipated. A $66 Million Bond Issue, including Loucks Field renovation would cost $66 additional taxes to owners of a $15,000 Assessed house, beginning in 2007-2008