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NY City Council leads the way to upgrade the Armory

Howie Evans | 8/1/2013, 11:41 a.m.
City Council Mmember Robert Jackson presented a million-dollar-plus check to Dr. Norbert Sander, president of the Armory Foundation. The money will be used to renovate the track.

It’s mid-afternoon at the Armory on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The sprawling facility is a sight to behold. AmNews photographer Bill Moore is shooting everything that moves. Young girls and boys navigate their way around the best indoor track in this country. It’s an afternoon on which hundreds of young track athletes are competing in the Hispanic Games. Earlier in the year, the Armory hosted the MLK games.

This is the indoor season at the Armory—a season in which thousands and thousands of youngsters come from every borough in the city, representing public and parochial schools. There are young ones from Nassau and Suffolk counties, travelers from outside of the city limits.

This is the Armory, where the greatest sight is of the hundreds of youngsters sitting and lying around the balcony, doing their homework, studying as they wait their turn to burn up the track that is spitting distance from the George Washington Bridge.

On the outside of the track is the Charles Rangel Educational Center, where virtually every day, the seats are filled with youngsters from the community who are doing homework, studying and being tutored at the Armory’s College Prep program.

This is home to City Council member Robert Jackson, the soon-to-be Manhattan borough president who is also a runner. He runs in many 5K races, often pounding the surface with his running buddy, Sen. Bill Perkins. Jackson will be missed on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. His parting gift to the community will be his leadership, along with that of mayoral candidate and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, in paving the way for a $1.68 million check that will be allocated to resurface the Armory track. With over 100 track meets every year, the track takes a pounding.

Other City Council members who must be recognized for their support are Gale Brewer, Daniel Garodnick, Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Ydanis Rodriguez. The Black, Latino and Asian Caucus also lent its support.